LEF logo (small)
Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
26th Harvest Week, Season 16
September 26th - October 2nd, 2011
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
The Pleasure of Food
Where are the heirloom tomatoes this year?
Join monthly homeschool class at the farm?
It's Sign-Up Time!
If you choose the "Installment Payment" option...
Clarification of "box sizes" with the coming seasons
Rebecca's Recipes
2011 Calendar

"Food equals pleasure
equals awareness
equals responsibility."

- Slow Food's Mission

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.


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. Note that delicate share items like strawberries or cherry tomatoes are usually packed outside your box; see checklist in binder at your pick-up site for what to take. 


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
Gala apples +
Napa cabbage
Green beans
Lettuce +
Red Russian kale
Hot peppers (Hungarian yellow/red; Padrons)
Sweet peppers +
Summer squash
Dry-farmed tomatoes +  


Small Share
Gala apples
Napa cabbage
Green beans
Red Russian kale
Hot peppers (Hungarian yellow/red; Padrons)
Sweet peppers
Summer squash
Dry-farmed tomatoes 


Budget Share
Napa cabbage
Green beans

Sweet peppers
Summer squash
Dry-farmed tomatoes  


Bread Option

This week's bread will be 3-seed whole wheat        


Extra Fruit Option

Gala apples and strawberries


Meat Chickens
The next (and final) delivery of meat chickens is next week (Oct 5-6-7).

The Pleasure of Food
One happy tomato U-picker!
Watching a young boy absorbed by the act of pulling a tomato directly off the plant; seeing the tomato juice-stained grin on a young girl perched on her daddy's shoulders, daddy with his hands full carrying his freshly harvested bounty of tomatoes; these are just a few images that stuck with me from last Saturday's tomato U-pick -- an event that speaks clearly to the pleasure factor of food. We tend to spend a lot of time talking about food justice, food security, food safety, food nutrition, food systems... but little mentioned is food pleasure, yet that is what gives vitality and meaning to the land's nourishing gifts. The pleasure we find in food is contagious and speaks to the farmer within us, the one that believes in growing flavorful, fresh, and nourishing food. It speaks to the cook in us who enjoys preparing a delicious meal, and of course it speaks to us eaters (that's everyone), who undeniably take pleasure in eating and sharing a delicious meal.

Sometimes I would like to follow every CSA share to its final destination, to experience how the crops that only recently were still growing in our fields have been transformed into a nourishing meal. Mealtimes in our family - especially dinner - are important moments to slow down to be with each other. The pleasure we experience in preparing food and eating it together determines in many ways the overall enjoyment of this mealtime ritual. Debbie's fresh summer saladThe experience of the palate of a freshly made dry-farmed tomato sauce, tender steamed green beans, warm potato puree, stir-fried kale, or fresh strawberries and raspberries can put even our sometimes frowning teenager into a better mood. The quality of the meal we share contributes directly to the atmosphere of our time together as a family.

I am convinced that the emerging (and much-needed) food revolution in this country will ultimately stem from a new-found pleasure in food. After all, what is more delicious than a ripe tomato or juicy strawberry just-picked from the field - or better yet, from one's own garden? A new CSA member coming back for the second time to harvest tomatoes last Saturday told me that he never really liked tomatoes until he tried our dry-farmed tomatoes, and wondered whether he'd ever be able to go back to buying tomatoes at the supermarket.

Few things give me greater pleasure than to pick and eat something right in the field, whether it's a bright red gala apple, a juicy red dry-farmed tomato, a crunchy green bean, or a sun-warmed ripe berry; it is  such a simple but deeply satisfying experience. The pleasure we get out of great tasting food is sometimes not acknowledged enough. The guiding principle of our farm is to maintain the intimacy and openness of the farm to its community such that we can experience the pleasure of this nourishing relationship.

- Tom

Cecile ready to eat that just-picked apple

Where are the heirloom tomatoes this year?
You may be wondering why the heirloom tomatoes are not showing up in the shares this year. You are not the only one wondering: it has been a mystery to many of us farmers who grew them this year as well. Although the plants are healthy, what we observed is the flower clusters tended to shrivel and fall off the plant during most of the early part of the year, so they never set much fruit. Since the plants looked healthy I can't attribute it to any pest or disease. For now, my best guess is that due to the poor weather conditions, mostly cool, the heirloom tomatoes and their heat loving cousins the eggplants never experienced the right temperature range for a long enough period during the summer to set a bountiful crop of fruit. It is still a mystery though, since the dry-farmed tomatoes did well!

- Tom

No, we are not discontinuing the liner-bags
Some of you picked up your shares last Friday only to discover the veggies were just packed loose in the box - no plastic liner bag. Speculation ensued that we were discontinuing them; this is not the case. We simply ran out of them in the middle of packing the shares. We do intend to continue using them, as they are essential to maintaining the freshness of the contents of your shares

- Tom


Join monthly homeschool class at the farm?
Hello Live Earth Farm members and friends,

We are a small group of home schooling families who have been working with the farm once a month for the past 3 years. Our group lost a few families this year and so we are looking for other home-schooling families interested in joining us. We have a class here on the farm, on the second Tuesday of each month, from 9:30am - 12:30pm. The farming and animal topics change every month, and the curriculum is open to family input/needs.  The cost is $100 per group/day, which we split among the participating kids. Our age group is 7 to approx 13 years (younger kids are welcome with an attending adult). We pay LEFDP in advance 2-3 times each school year. Our first class this year is Tues. Oct 11th, so please be in touch soon if you'd like to join us.

If you are interested, please contact either:
Claire Takemori: cht@mac.com 408 871-7870
or Jessica Ridgeway (at the LEFDP office): lefeducation@baymoon.com

LEFDP's homeschool gropu at the farm 
It's Sign-Up Time!
Just a reminder: you may now sign up for the coming seasons, both Winter and Next Year (Regular 2012)!

To recap:

<> Each season (Winter, Regular) must be signed up for separately; signing up for one does not reserve your spot for the next.

<> If you are not interested in a Winter share that's fine - you can skip it.

<> Although our Regular season does not begin until next April, we are taking sign-ups for it starting now, so as to start the revenue flow necessary to prepare for the coming season (as Tom talked about last week).


<> Payment incentives! (Regular Season only): There are two: one for "Early Registration" and another for "One Payment".  


<> Payment flexibility! (Regular Season only): Can't pay in one payment up front? Choose our "Installment Payment" option, which spreads the total cost of your subscription equally from the time you sign up until Nov 2012 (the last month of the season). Think of it kind of like a 'lay-away' plan - you make monthly installment payments into your member 'account', and then begin drawing against your 'balance' next spring as you receive your shares. [Please read "If you choose the 'Installment Payment' Option", below.] 


The nitty-gritty

Our website has been completely updated with all the current info - prices, schedule, which sites are available for what seasons... I highly encourage everyone to at least check out the "How does it work?" and "What does it cost?" sections, as well as the all important "Info for CSA members" page. 


Then as soon as you're ready, click Join, choose your seasons, and sign up for them! It's that simple!  If you plan on doing both seasons, sign up for both now; take advantage of that discount! ;-)    

Clipping from our Website homepage 

If you choose the "Installment Payment" option... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[This information is explained in more detail on our website's "Cost" page, under the heading Installment Payments HEADS UP, but bears repeating.]

If you don't want two back-to-back payments charged to your bank or credit card, it is best to wait until the beginning of a month to sign up. Your first charge is dated the day you sign up, and the rest are charged monthly on the 1st of each month. So if you sign up on the 29th, you'll have a payment on the 29th... and then another just a few days later on the 1st.

Clarification of "box sizes" with the coming seasons
Ever since we added a third box size - the "Budget" share - to our two original sizes ("Family" and "Small") there has been some confusion: people would sign up for a "Small" share, and then if they didn't read the instructions, think they're supposed to take the 'smallest' box at the pick-up site. Unfortunately, the Budget share is the smallest...!

SO, we are remedying this with the coming seasons. New box sizes are going to be:
Family (Large) Box
Regular (Medium) Box
Budget (Small) Box

Now the only reason I'm bringing this up is: that picture on our website, the "How to Tell Boxes Apart" one, will continue to show the "Small" share as the middle-sized box... until the end of this current season, while it still holds true. But once the season's over, we will revise that -- and hopefully there will be less box size confusion in the future! ;-)
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! We had another very successful "cooking from the box" class last Sunday and I am just exhausted, yet also bolstered by the enthusiasm of the attendees - it was contagious! We taught outside on the patio and there was a delicate rain for awhile... humid, misty; very tropical - it was just beautiful. Here are a few recipes I hope will inspire you through the week. Blessings to all - Rebecca

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

Serves 4
This basic recipe will work with just about any filling. Try substituting different types of cheese, herbs, or beans.

4 sweet peppers
1/2 C whole-wheat orzo
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 mediums onion, chopped
6 ounces arugula, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried
3/4 C crumbled feta cheese
1/4 C oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (or 1/2 C fresh tomatoes), chopped
1 tbsp. red-wine or sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Halve the peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving the stems attached. Remove the seeds and the white membranous veins. Place peppers cut-side down in in a large baking pan and roast for about 7 minutes, or until just barely soft (you want the peppers to still be firm, but somewhat pliable). Let cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until just tender, about 8-10 minutes, or according to package. Drain and rinse with cold water
4. Mash the garbanzos into a chunky paste with a fork, leaving some whole.
5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the arugula and oregano and cook until the arugula is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the orzo, chickpeas (garbanzos), 1/2 C of the feta cheese, the tomatoes, vinegar, and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Divide the filling among the peppers and sprinkle each with the remaining feta cheese.

Serves 4-6
This is a very simple recipe, but it is so delicious and moist, the sauce is spectacular.

3-4 lb. pasture-raised chicken, washed and patted dry
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon
1/4 tsp. Herbes de Provence (or herbs of choice)
2 medium onions, medium diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1-2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature (can substitute olive oil)
broth to moisten

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Zest the lemon and set aside the zest. Puncture the lemon with a fork multiple times and place inside the cavity of the chicken.
3. Peel the garlic cloves and place inside the cavity of the chicken.
4. Rub butter under and over the skin of the chicken; place in a roasting pan.
5. Chop the onion and place around and under the chicken.
6. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and lemon zest, sprinkling all over the chicken.
7. Pour the broth (about 1 cup) in the bottom of the pan to moisten.
8. Roast the chicken in preheated oven for 50-90 minutes, or until the temperature is 165 degrees when tested.
9. When chicken is done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool a bit. Save the pan juices, the lemon, onions, and garlic.
10. Pour the juices into a blender. Add the onion and garlic, and squeeze the juice from the lemon into the blender. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
11. Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce on the side.

Makes 6-8 servings
Often the best way to showcase vegetables is to do as little as possible to them. For this recipe, use whatever vegetables you have on hand.

1 medium eggplant, cut lengthwise into half-inch slices
2 sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
3 medium summer squash, sliced lengthwise, into about half-strips
1/4 C plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely minced
Sea salt
1 C ricotta cheese
1/2 C firmly packed basil, finely minced
2 medium sized tomatoes, cut into half-inch rounds.
ciabatta bread or baguette, sliced horizontally and toasted or grilled

1. Prepare and heat a grill to high heat, or prepare a grill pan.
2. Meanwhile combine the eggplant, squash and peppers with the 1/4 C olive oil, plus the vinegar, thyme, and a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Let marinate while the grill is heating.
3. Combine the ricotta with the basil, the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper, and set aside.
4. When the grill is hot, grill the vegetables on both sides until cooked through and with clear grill marks, 2-3 minutes per side.
5. To assemble, spread ricotta on one side of the bread, then layer the grilled vegetables and tomato on top. Place other slice of bread on top, cut, and serve.

Serves 2
You can easily add more eggs to serve more people. Serve with a good toast to mop up the yolks and the tomato-y juices.

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 C minced shallots
1/4 C minced sweet peppers
1 tsp. finely ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. finely minced sun-dried tomatoes
1 C diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. tomato paste
4 large eggs
sea salt and pepper to taste

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Heat  the butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat (well-seasoned cast iron skillet is ideal). Add the shallots, sweep pepper, coriander, smoked paprika, and sun dried tomato, cook stirring, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, stir well, and cook another few minutes, until the tomatoes have reduced a bit.
4. Spread the mixture evenly along the bottom of the pan, carefully crack in the eggs, and place in the oven. Bake about 12 minutes, or until the yolks are barely set. They should be a tad runny; you can judge by the jiggling in the pan. Dust with salt and pepper, divide into 2 portions and serve on warmed plates.

Serves 6
This wholesome sweet and sour soup combines beef, caraway seeds, sweet paprika and cabbage - ingredients that star in a number of German dishes. It is particularly nice with a crusty rye bread. For an even heartier soup add potatoes along with the cabbage. I am not a meat eater, but this is a comforting, delicious soup on a cold evening; the flavors are amazing! Remember to use only organic, grass-fed meat!

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. organic, grass-fed ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 1/2 C sweet peppers and onions, chopped
1 medium apple, diced
6 C broth
1 1/2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. sweet paprika
3 C coarsely chopped Napa cabbage
1-2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat ( any large pot will work). Add beef, caraway seeds, and thyme and cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a spoon, until mostly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onion-pepper mix and apple; cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes more.
2. Stir in the broth, honey, tomatoes, and paprika and adjust the heat so the mixture gently boils. Cook for about 8-10 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in the cabbage and cook until barely tender, 3-4 minutes more. Season with vinegar, salt and pepper, to taste.

Makes 2 cups
This is great with pita bread or as a spread for sandwiches.

2 C cooked chickpeas (garbanzos)
2 eggplants, cut in half [LEF eggplant are small; you'll probably use more than 2]
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 C plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
2 chilis of choice, cut in half, seeds and ribs removed (I like the heat; this is optional)
1 tsp. ground cumin

1. Preheat the to oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Toss the garlic and eggplant with the 1/4 C of olive oil and arrange on a roasting pan, putting the eggplant cut side down. Roast for 40 minutes. Add the chilis to the roasting pan, also cut side down, and roast for another 10 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
3. Scoop the flesh from the eggplant and transfer to a blender. Add the roasted garlic, chilis, chickpeas, and cumin, the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil and 2-3 tbsp. water. Puree, adding more water as needed, until the mixture is creamy.

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

Sept 17th - Another Tomato U-pick! (due to popular demand, Mother Nature's sun!)

Sept 24th - Yet Another Tomato U-pick!

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