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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
20th Harvest Week, Season 16
August 15th - 21st, 2011
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
Cooking and Growing Real Wealth
Community Farm Day "Totally Tomatoes" - Saturday Aug 27th
Countown to Fundrasier: four weeks!
Rebecca's Recipes
2011 Calendar

"As farmers, we are emotionally involved, personally engaged and spiritually invested ... surviving as both art and business ... we perform despite limited economic incentives because we offer gifts to the world.
- David Mas Masumoto, from "Four Seasons in Five Senses"

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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.


If one share is scheduled to get larger quantities of certain items than the other two shares, 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 (tatsoi/mizuna)
Beets (mix of golden and red)
Green beans +
Leeks +
Potatoes (Yellow Finn)
Sweet peppers
Dry-farmed tomatoes


Small Share
Asian stir-fry mix (tatsoi/mizuna)
Beets (mix of golden and red)
Green beans +
Leeks +
Potatoes (Yellow Finn)
Sweet peppers
Dry-farmed tomatoes


Budget Share
Asian stir-fry mix (tatsoi/mizuna)
Cherry tomatoes
Green beans
Sweet peppers

Dry-farmed tomatoes 


Bread Option

This week's bread will be sesame whole wheat    


Extra Fruit Option

Strawberries, raspberries and sungold cherry tomatoes! 


Meat Chickens
The next delivery of meat chickens is next month (Sept 7-8-9).

Cooking and Growing Real Wealth
As financial markets once again created a cycle of volatility and panic, it appears our economy is turning more into a gambling casino rather than the safe and trustworthy system we like to believe it to be. Rather than saving and managing our monetary resources to serve the greater good of the entire community, it's becoming more apparent, by the day, that our economy has been rigged to maximize the profits of banks and financial institutions. These same institutions seem to exercise absolute control of the flow of money we all depend on for our daily economic transactions. Money has become so essential for our survival that our economic well-being seems to entirely be hinged on this one measure alone - the rate at which money is growing, rather than its contribution to our well-being as people, our communities and the health of our environment.

Tom's tomato sauce and old pic of Elisa chopping green beansAs a daily practice, to avoid being sucked into a vortex of panic and fear, cooking is one way to feel more grounded. Last Friday evening I made a big batch of pasta sauce, enough to last a couple of days. It is gratifying to see freshly picked raw ingredients - i.e. dry-farmed tomatoes (in shares starting this week), leeks, peppers, squash, garlic and basil - transform, almost alchemically, into a heart warming, flavorful and nourishing meal. A meal where food becomes sustenance for our bodies and our souls. A meal where the family sits around the kitchen table, where both the mind and heart are free to express emotions, share stories, frustrations, hopes and dreams. We come together to share a meal, to pray and hold hands to give thanks. A meal where we feel connected and alive. A meal that can't be valued in terms of money.

Preparing a simple and tasty meal like this is probably nothing unusual for those of us who receive a CSA share every week. You may not see yourself as a revolutionary, but as a CSA member, you have made a fairly radical choice. The food you receive is not a commodity or conventional off-the-shelf type business transaction. The bunch of chard, carrots, tomatoes, beets or basket of raspberries you will eat is a choice where together, we the farmers and you the "eaters" want to support and honor the earth, our health, and the pleasure of eating delicious flavorful food close to home. Your box of vegetables reflects a seasonal relationship that is directly woven into the life of our land, its people, plants, animals, and soil. In this partnership we share both the risk and bounty inherently involved in growing food. This dialogue with food is real, the food choices we make are the kind of investments that reflect our real and living wealth, one that can't be measured in money alone. It is the kind of wealth based on relationships where we feel connected as a community and empowered by our choices to exercise our political and democratic rights.

As a farmer I am committed to work for that kind of real and living wealth, grounded in values that strengthen community, human happiness and well-being. Have a great week and keep cooking and enjoying this weeks bounty!

- Tom


Community Farm Day "Totally Tomatoes" - Saturday Aug 27th
Crates of dry-farmed tomatoesNot this weekend but next weekend, come out to the farm for our annual Tomato U-Pick day! We hope to have lots and lots of ripe, succulent dry-farmed tomatoes for the picking. If you want to put up a bunch of tomatoes this summer, this is the time to take action (if you want to learn how to put up tomatoes, sign up for a Happy Girl Kitchen Tomato-canning workshop the prior weekend; space still available in Sunday's class; Saturday's class is already sold out). Tom will also offer a couple tractor ride/farm tours too. Mark your calendar!

When: Saturday August 27th, 10am - 4pm

Where: come to our "Main" Green Valley Entrance (1275 Green Valley Rd. - see pictures, below) Follow signs for parking, and to get to the U-pick field.

Cost: $1.50/lb (1st 5 lbs. free). And yes, eating while picking is allowed! :-) 

Harvest limit: this one's tricky; Tom will decide final on U-pick day, depending on how quickly the field ripens, but it'll be between 50 and 100 lbs. per family 

What else:

<> Tom will do tractor ride/farm tours at 11am and 2pm

<> Bring hats, sunscreen, etc. for protection from the elements

<> Bring your own lunch and picnic on the farm if you like! 

<> Bring your own bags or boxes for harvesting (LEF will not provide them)

<> Don't forget to bring cash for paying (exact change helps!)

<> Bring your own salt if you want to snack on tomatoes in the field! :-) 

<> We ask that you do not bring dogs to our farm; please leave them at home - thanks! 


LEF Green Valley Entrance signage  


Countdown to Fundraiser: four weeks!

LEF Discovery Program 2011 Fundraiser Postcard 

The LEF Discovery Program Third Annual "In The Fields" Food-And-Wine-Tasting Fundraiser will be here sooner than you know it! Mark your calendar, save the date: Saturday September 10th, from 3pm - 6pm, then click below to purchase your tickets! If you are planning to attend, please purchase your tickets soon if at all possible, so that we can have a head-count and plan - thanks! 


Don't know what we're talking about? Click here for details, pictures, and to purchase tickets!

<> Did you know there's also going to be a barn dance afterwards?
<> Did you know you can attend the barn dance even if you're not attending the fundraiser (dance tickets are only $10)?
<> Did you know a dance ticket is included in the cost of the fundraiser ticket?
<> Did you know there's also going to be a silent auction, with great items from local artists, artisans and producers?
<> Did you know there will be separate child care during the fundraiser for kids 3 and above, including fun farm activities and pizza-making in our wood-fired oven ($20 per family, not per child)?

<> Did you know if you buy or sell 5 tickets you can get a 6th for free?? Spread the word and invite friends!


Please support this great cause; The Live Earth Farm Discovery Program is a 501(c)3 non-profit - all contributions go towards bringing school children from under-served communities onto the farm to discover the joy of eating fresh and healthy organic food and experience the wonders of the earth.


Hope to see you there, and thanks for your support!


[If you cannot attend but wish to support our educational nonprofit you can always make a donation or become a sponsor. We appreciate donations of any size!]



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 with another week of incredible abundance from the farm. I hope you all are liking my recipes and are able to use them. If you have any sugggestions, I would love to hear from you. Thanks to the folks who shared the padron pepper recipes - they are fantastic! As I am writing this, the crickets are singing and the sun is setting... another day in this beautiful paradise is coming to a close. My fingers are weary from typing though; I'm not the best at it (so thanks, Debbie, for catching and fixing my typos!) As always, I wish you all a joyous week full of wonderful eating. In health and with blessings, Rebecca

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

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 C pistachio nuts, raw, unsalted
2 C cilantro leaves, whole, packed
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp. cardamom, ground
3/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 C olive oil, divided
black pepper to taste

1. Divide the chicken into 9 pieces, reserving the back and wings for stock (I like to use the wings!)
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toast the pistachios on a cookie sheet until golden, about 7 minutes. Let cool slightly and transfer to a food processor. Increase  oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
3. Add cilantro leaves, 3 tsp. (= 1 tbsp.) of the lemon juice, garlic, cardamom, and 3/4 tsp. salt to processor. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 C of the olive oil. Season with pepper. Remove from the processor and divide, reserving half for drizzling on the cooked chicken afterwards.
4. Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the chicken pieces. Spread about 1/2 to 1 tbsp. of pesto evenly beneath the skin and over the chicken's surface. Season each piece generously with salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan. Roast until chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, about 25-30 minutes (internal temperature should be 165 degrees).
5. Whisk the remaining 1/4 C olive oil and 1 tsp. lemon juice into reserved pesto. Drizzle pesto sauce over roasted chicken and serve.

I love chicken this way... it is so yummy!

Serves 6

1 whole head/bulb of garlic
2 heads cauliflower, chopped into small florets
2 medium turnips, cut into 1-inch cubes [or for the small Japanese turnips, use all the bulbs from a bunch; trim, but no need to peel. - Debbie]
1/4 C parmesan cheese
2 tsp. fresh oregano or cilantro
1 tsp. fresh thyme (optional); if using the cilantro, omit
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven  to 400 degrees F. Wrap garlic bulb in parchment paper and roast fo 30-40 minutes.
2. Place the turnips in a steamer pot and steam until tender when pierced with a fork.
3. Place the cauliflower in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a slight boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower falls apart when pierced with a fork. Drain well.
4. Place the turnips, cauliflower, and garlic into a medium pot. Using an immersion blender or hand masher, blend until smooth. Add the cheese, and herbs of choice. Season to taste. For added creaminess, add a few tbsp. of ghee or butter.

yield: 1 pint
A traditional method of preserving vegetables is in vinegar; it's a quick way to pickle foods. A variety of vegetables, spices, and herbs can be used.

1 pint (or 2 half-pint) jars, sterilized (dishwasher is fine)
1 1/2 C fresh vegetables such as summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, turnips, radishes, carrots, beets, green beans... even the sweet peppers!
1 pint of vinegar of your choice
a few black peppercorns
dry spices (ex: pickling spices) (optional) [pickling spices are some combination of things like cloves, allspice, coriander seed, dill seed, juniper berries, mace, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves, and stick cinnamon. Some folks like to add dried hot peppers too. - Debbie]
fresh herbs (ex: dill; tarragon) (also optional)

1. Choose the mixture of vegetables, spices and herbs you would like to use and cut them up to your liking (chop, dice, julienne, roll cut, etc.)
2. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, peppercorns and any spices (not the fresh herbs) that you are using. Bring to a boil then simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Put the vegetables and optional fresh herbs into a clean, sterilized jar then pour in the seasoned vinegar. (Careful with the herbs; too much can overpower. A few tucked in are really beautiful though.)
4. Allow the contents to cool, then put lids on the jars and store in a cool place away from the sun. The vegetables will be ready to eat in 2 weeks to a month. Once opened, refrigerate.

This is a great way to use a lot of the veggies, and it makes a beautiful presentation, with all the vegetables and their vibrant colors. It is also a nice gift to give!

serves 6

1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 medium carrots, grated
2-inch fresh piece of ginger, grated
2 tsp. tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. miso
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 lbs. chard, stems removed and chopped
1/4 C sesame seeds, toasted lightly
1/4 C water

1. In a a medium pan, heat the oil and saute the carrots and ginger until carrots are tender (just a few minutes).
2. While the carrots are cooking, in a small bowl, combine the tamari, honey, miso, vinegar, and cayenne (if using). Add a bit of water, if needed, to make a smooth paste.
3. Add the chard and stems to the pan with the carrots and cook just until the greens are wilted.
4. Add the sesame seeds, water, and miso paste to the vegetables, stirring well to coat all the ingredients. Heat through and serve.
This dish can be chilled and served cold.

Serves 6
This makes a wonderful appetizer served on crackers, but sometimes I like to combine all the parts together and eat it just like that! This recipe seems like a lot of work, but it is sooo delicious... I think it is worth it!

1 C white beans, soaked overnight
4 C water
1 C leek tops, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 carrot
1 stalk celery with the leaves
1 2-inch piece kombu (this is a seaweed used when cooking beans to add extra nutrients; it also helps to de-gas them)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 C leeks, julienned
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. bean stock
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb. spinach, chard and/or arugula, washed and chopped
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 package rice crackers, or crackers of your choice (optional)

1. Rinse the soaked beans and place them in a heavy stock pot. Add the water or stock, leek tops, garlic, celery, carrot, and kombu. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until the beans are tender (usually about 60-90 minutes). Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Pick out the kombu and leek tops discard. (The celery and carrot and garlic clove usually disintegrate, or become soft enough to puree in step 4, so you can leave them in).
2. While the beans are cooking, caramelize the leeks in a large skillet heated with olive oil, cooking over medium heat.  Lower the heat and cook slowly for about 30 minutes, until the leeks are vey soft and turn a rich caramel brown. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Transfer the leeks to a bowl and set aside.
3. Return the skillet to the heat and cook the greens. Saute the greens quickly with the rosemary until wilted, about 1 minute.
4. In a large bowl, combine the drained beans with the minced garlic, lemon juice, about 1 tbsp. of the reserved bean liquid, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash with a potato masher or clean hands until well blended. You can also puree this in a food processor if you wish to have a smoother consistency.
5. To make canapes with crackers, spread a layer of the bean puree over each cracker. Add a tsp. of the greens, then top with a tsp. of the caramelized leeks and serve.

serves 6

1/3 C balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. plus 4 tbsp. sweetener
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 C chilled marscarpone cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
3 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
mint for garnish

1. Make a syrup by combining the vinegar, 2 tsp. of the sweetener, and the lemon juice in a heavy sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until sweetener dissolves, then boil until syrup is reduced to a scant quarter cup, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; cool completely.
2. Combine marscarpone, vanilla, and 2 tbsp. of the sweetener in a medium bowl.
3. Combine berries and remaining 2 tbsp. sweetener in a large bowl; drizzle with the balsamic syrup and toss to blend. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Divide the berry mixture among 6 cups or glasses. Top with a dollop of the marscarpone mixture and then with the hazelnuts. Garnish with a sprig of mint if you wish.

Serves 6

1 1/2 lbs. green beans
sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter or ghee
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts only, minced finely
12 small tomatoes, halved (or quartered, if larger)
1 tbsp. fresh lemon thyme, finely chopped (lemon thyme is a variety of thyme; if you don't have any, you can substitute a different herb of your choice. I like using cilantro with this dish.)
vinegar to taste

1. Trim tips and tails from green beans, then cut into 3-inch pieces. Boil them in plenty of salted water, uncovered, about 5 minutes. Check for doneness; some beans can take longer, depending on their size. You want them to still have a slight crunch. [In my experience, boiling or steaming for 5 minutes is indeed sufficient.  - Debbie]
2. While beans are cooking, melt the butter or ghee with the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and herb of choice.
3. Drain the beans as soon as they are done and add them to the pan. Cook briefly, stirring to coat them with the sauce. Season with a few drops of vinegar and serve.

serves 6

2 lbs. cauliflower florets
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 tsp. homemade curry powder, recipe below
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Hungarian hot paprika (or milder if you like)
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
homemade curry powder ingredients:
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds, whole
1/4 tsp. coriander seeds, whole
1/4 tsp. ginger, dried
1/4 tsp. dill, dried
1/4 tsp. turmeric, ground
1/4 tsp. paprika or cayenne
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Combine curry powder ingredients* in a spice grinder (I use a coffee grinder - they work great). Grind to a powder. Set aside.
3. Place the cauliflower florets in a large roasting pan. Pull apart the onion quarters into separate layers; add to the cauliflower.
4. Stir coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Crush coarsely in a mortar with pestle.
5. Place seeds in a medium bowl. Whisk in oil, vinegar, curry powder, paprika, and salt. Pour dressing over the vegetables; toss to coat thoroughly, then spread them out evenly in a single layer. Sprinkle with pepper.
6. Roast until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes (can be made 2 hours in advance). Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 450 degree oven for 10 minutes if desired.
7. Mound the vegetables in a bowl, sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*You can substitute 2 tsp. regular curry powder of your choice if you don't want to make your own powder. I think it is fun to do though, so I put it in the recipe.

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, see "Upcoming Events" on Karen and Rebecca's Vibrant Food Catering website.  


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