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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
33rd Harvest Week, Season 16
November 14th - 20th, 2011
Last delivery of the 2011 Regular Season!
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
A Time to be Thankful
Last Delivery of the 2011 Regular Season
Come to the "Farming in Balance with Wilderness" Farm Tour
November's "Cooking from the Box" Class This Sunday
Rebecca's Recipes
2011 Calendar

"...Eating is an agricultural act, and how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used."
- Wendell Berry

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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 (or the next smaller) 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
Brussels sprouts, broccoli or Romanesco cauliflower
Green beans
Lettuce +
Onions (Pinnacle Organic Farm)
Yellow Finn potatoes
Mystery item (could be anything!) 


Small Share
Gala apples
Brussels sprouts, broccoli or Romanesco cauliflower
Green beans
Onions (Pinnacle Organic Farm)
Mystery item (could be anything!) 


Budget Share
Gala apples
Brussels sprouts, broccoli or Romanesco cauliflower
Green beans
Yellow Finn potatoes 


Bread Option

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


Extra Fruit Option

Fuji apples, Pinnacle apple juice, Happy Girl crushed dry-farmed tomatoes (from LEF tomatoes) 


Pasture-raised Organic Turkeys
If you ordered a turkey via the Web Store, it will be in a cooler at your pick-up site this week - don't forget it! :-)

A Time to be Thankful
Nearing the completion of yet another season, our 16th, it may seem like a familiar dance by now, but it never is. We can't take a good harvest for granted. The weather this year was unusually wet in the spring, affecting the pollination and maturity of our early season crops. The apricots never set fruit, the very cool summer delayed many a harvest by 2-3 weeks; some crops, such as cucumbers, winter squash and eggplant, didn't develop well. Of course we did have some very nice harvests of raspberries, potatoes, tomatoes (once they started), strawberries, green beans, lettuce and many other of our staple crops. Farming is an act of trust, trust that we're able to surrender and dance to the many tunes mother nature composes. We are all looking forward to taking a short break before the winter season - with its scaled down CSA program - starts up again, the beginning of December (see below). It's time now to be grateful for the hard work which has been rewarded by a bountiful harvest.  

Live Earth Farm is able to celebrate the conclusion of yet another season due to the generosity of others. The healthy continuity of this farm isn't based on a harvest aimed at fetching the highest price in the market place. You must have heard me say it many times: the harvests are the result of an amazing and diverse living network of supporters, whether it's the microorganisms in the soil, or the community of fellow farmers, farm employees, farm apprentices, farm suppliers, CSA members, farmer's market customers, artisan food producers, cooks, teachers, students, and friends. The food grown on this land becomes a common thread that links us all together, and with every meal we prepare, we also enjoy the pleasure and nourishment that comes from it.

Many fields are starting to grow their winter blanket of cover crops; the hills around us are starting to turn green and I am filled with thankfulness for all who contributed to making this another nourishing and successful season. We are grateful for your commitment to share in this bounty, through your membership in Live Earth Farm's CSA program, and we hope to continue celebrating these mutually supportive relationships for many more harvest seasons to come.  Happy Thanksgiving!

- Tom

The (almost) whole crew, spring 2011 [missing: Jason, Debbie, Dawne, Jeff, Anna]
Packing the Shares

Last Delivery of the 2011 Regular Season
Hard to believe, but this is indeed the final delivery of the 2011 Regular Season. [Those of you who ordered turkeys, remember to pick them up this week! There will be no other opportunity to get them if you forget.]

*** We still have space for a few more Winter Season members (Family or Regular share size - Budget all sold out) ***

*** Deliveries for our 2012 Regular Season begin the first week of April 2012; subscribe before December 31st to receive a 2% Early Registration discount on your choice of share box (discount is reflected in the currently listed price). Pay in full, and receive another 2% discount on your entire subscription! ***

If you want to sign up for either Winter or 2012 (or both!) please go here.

Come to the "Farming in Balance with Wilderness" Farm Tour
You have probably heard Tom talk about his ongoing dedication to integrating wild Nature with cultivated farmland. Well a major conservation planting project that has been underway at Live Earth Farm for the last couple years - courtesy of Wild Farm Alliance (WFA), with a grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board and lots of sweat equity from CAFF (Community Alliance with Family Farmers) - is now complete* and the tour to show it off is scheduled for this Friday, November 18th.

The farm tour, entitled Habitat Restoration on Central Coast Farms is being co-presented by WFA and CAFF, and actually includes two farms: Live Earth, and Storrs Winery (nearby; in Aptos), but you can just come to the LEF part of the tour if you like (you are also welcome to do both!). There is no charge for this tour.

Here is the schedule:

10:30am - Noon
Hidden Springs Ranch, 1326 Hames Rd, Aptos
(Taking left fork onto Hames off of Freedom Blvd, it's the second driveway on your left after the dogleg on Pleasant Valley Rd.)

12:30pm - 3:30pm
Live Earth Farm, 172 Litchfield Lane, Watsonville (directions)

Tour will be rain or shine; bring mud boots if rainy. Lunch will be provided if you are coming to both farms.

For more information, please call WFA 831.761.8408 or CAFF 831.722.5556
WFA, CAFF and WCB logos
*this particular project may be complete, but it is not the 'end' of this sort of activity on the farm; Tom says he has learned much from this and plans to continue to integrate natural habitat with his cropland for as long as he is farming.

November's "Cooking from the Box" Class This Sunday
Just a reminder that November's monthly "Cooking from a CSA Box" class which Rebecca Mastoris and Karen Haralson put on at Williams-Sonoma in Los Gatos is going to be a week earlier than usual due to the Thanksgiving holiday. That means it is this Sunday, Nov 20th! Time is still the same: 1 - 3pm.

If you're interested in this increasingly popular class, mark your calendar and go to their website to sign up. Debbie plans on being there at this November class, so if you want to meet her, pick her brain, come on down to Los Gatos this Sunday!

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 hope you enjoy these last recipes for the season - take care everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving to you! Blessings, Rebecca

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

Serves 12

1 1/2 lb. cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 C parsley, roughly chopped
1/3 C loosely packed oregano leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the cabbage, carrot, onion, herbs in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and set aside.
2. Heat small pan over medium heat. Add the 2 tbsp. olive oil and saute the shallots until softened, about 2 minutes. Add mustard, honey, vinegar, and paprika and stir to combine.
3. Pour warm dressing over the vegetables and mix well.

Serves 12
Braising the fennel brings out its natural sweetness, which nicely balances the bitter radicchio. Bitter greens are excellent for blood sugar balance.

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 C sliced fennel, green fronds minced and reserved
1 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 1/2 C water, divided
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tbsp. white miso
1 tbsp. kudzu (or other thickener such as arrowroot)
1 head radicchio

1. Heat a large pan on medium heat and add the 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions wilt, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the sliced fennel to the onions and garlic along with the fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add 2 cups of water, lemon juice, and orange zest; cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes more, or until the fennel is very tender. When the fennel is tender, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Mix the thickener with the remaining 1/2 C water to dissolve. Bring the liquid in the pan to a boil and reduce to 1 cup. Add the thickener mixture to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture is thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the miso until it dissolves.
5. Separate the radicchio leaves. Place about 1/3 of the fennel in each radicchio leaf. Arrange the leaves on a platter. Spoon a little fennel sauce over each leaf. Serve at room temperature, or chilled, garnished with minced fennel tops.

Serves 12
This is a broth soup with caramelized onions. The miso adds a rich flavor and depth.

1 tbsp. butter or ghee
3 lbs. onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 C dry red wine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 C diced  carrots
1 C diced celery
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tsp.minced fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
8 C chicken stock
1/3 C dark brown or red miso
sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add the butter, onions, and salt and reduce the heat to low. Cook the onions until well caramelized. Add the wine and cook until about half the liquid evaporates.
2. Add the remaining ingredients (except the miso), cover and simmer lightly for 30 minutes.
3. Turn off the the heat and add some broth to a small bowl. Stir in the miso until well incorporated and then add the slurry into the soup and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste (remember miso is salty, so you won't need much salt, if any).

This is a quick salad I like to toss together using whatever greens etc. I have in the fridge. Season with a light lemon-garlic vinaigrette to make a delightful, tasty salad. This goes really well with the white bean soup recipe [see last recipe] and some good bread-like the rye bread from Companion Bakery.

lettuce greens
thinly shaved fennel
apples, thinly sliced, then chopped
persimmons, thinly sliced then chopped (optional)
sunflower seeds (optional)
1. Mix all of the ingredients but sunflower seeds in a bowl and toss with lemon vinaigrette, blending well to coat. Sprinkle on sunflower seeds for a yummy crunch!

Lemon Vinaigrette
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil, a little more than the juice
1 clove garlic, finely minced
a touch of maple syrup to soften the flavors

1. mix all the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to blend well. (I leave the garlic in when I toss the salad, you can strain the dressing if you don't want the garlic bits in your salad.)

Serves 4-6

2 fennel bulbs
6 C stock (recipe follows)
2 medium leeks, white parts plus 1 inch of the green, chopped
1 small potato, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 onion, chopped
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/3 C cream, optional
1. Remove the tough layers of the fennel and use them in the stock, along with the 1 C chopped leek greens and the leek roots. Chop half of the fennel green and reserve.
2. Quarter the fennel bulbs, remove the core if tough, and thinly slice crosswise. Warm the oil in the soup pot and add the onion, fennel, leek, potato and 1 tsp. salt, plus 1 C of the strained stock.
3. Cover and stew over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the remaining stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the fennel is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
5. Stir in the cream and the reserved fennel greens. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if needed.

Quick Stock
2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
Trimmings from the soup vegetables
2 bay leaves
several sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried_
4 or more garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
8 parsley branches, including the stems
additional herbs and spices appropriate for the soup
sea salt
Heat the oil over high heat and add the onion, carrot, and celery. While they are browning, peel the vegetables and add the trimmings to the stock along with the aromatics. Stir occasionally. After 10 minutes, add 2 tsp. salt and 2 quarts cold water, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 to 35 minutes. Strain as soon as the stock is finished.

Makes 7-8 cups
Feel free to use any grain in this salad: quinoa, bulgur, couscous, brown basmati rice, barley, or wild rice are nice substitutes.

1 C millet
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 C boiling water
2 C chopped broccoli florets and stems
1 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 C thinly sliced celery
1 C cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (can omit if you don't have any or can use sliced tomatoes)
1/4 C minced fresh dill weed
1/4 C minced fresh parsley
1/2 to 1 C cashews, toasted
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
1/3 C olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1. Toast the millet in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to brown and give off a nutty fragrance. Carefully add the boiling water and sea salt, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook until the water is reduced and the millet is tender, 20-25 minutes.
2. Spread millet out on a cookie sheet to cool.
3. While the millet is cooling, steam the broccoli just until tender and bright green. Rinse under cold water, drain well and place in a large bowl.
4. Add the celery and tomatoes, dill, and parsley to the broccoli.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt.
6. When the millet is cooled, crumble it into the vegetables. Add the cashews and the dressing and toss everything together.

Makes 2 to 2 1/2 quarts
This gorgeous fuchsia soup has a delicate flavor. Packed with nutrition, the spices aid digestion.

1 1/2 C French green lentils
5 C broth
one 4-inch piece of kombu seaweed (optional)
1 small sweet potato or yam or potato, grated
1 medium beet, grated
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 C minced onions or leeks
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. ground fennel seeds
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. sea salt
3-4 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. Rinse the lentils and place them in a saucepan with the kombu and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
2. Add the yam, beets, and coconut milk and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the beets and yams are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. While the lentils are cooking, saute the onion and ginger until the onion is translucent and tender. Add the spices and sea salt and cook over low heat, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
4. Add the onion mixture to the lentils and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Taste and add sea salt if needed.
5. Garnish the soup with cilantro and serve.

Makes about 8 cups
The proportions of cauliflower, carrot and potatoes are very flexible in this recipe -- you can leave out the carrot completely, or decrease the cauliflower and increase the potatoes depending on what you have on hand and how much you love cauliflower. You will never miss the cream in this flavorful and richly satisfying soup.

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 C onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head cauliflower, cored and chopped (about 3-4 C)
1/2 C chopped carrots
1 medium potato, diced (about 1 to 1 1/2 C)
2-4 tbsp. chopped fresh dill (or 1 tbsp. dried dill weed)
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
4 C broth

1. heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and saute about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Add the cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, sea salt, pepper, dill, mustard, and stock; bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
3. Let the soup cool briefly, then puree it in batches until very smooth. The texture should be velvety.
4. Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat before serving.

Serves 12
It is perfectly fine to use regular curry powder, but making your own gives you the most nutritious benefit from the spices. Grind the powder in small batches and use in any recipe that calls for curry powder. In this dish, the combination of red wine vinegar and curry gives an unexpected brightness and flavor to the cauliflower.

2 lbs. cauliflower florets
1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder (see recipe below)
1/2 tsp.coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seed
3 tbsp. coconut oil
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Homemade Curry Powder
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seed
1/4 tsp. coriander seed
1/2 tsp. cumin seed
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. dried dill
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. commercial curry powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the curry powder ingredients in a spice grinder (I use a small coffee grinder). Grind to a powder. Set aside.
3. Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Pull apart the onion quarters into separate pieces; add to the cauliflower.
4. Stir the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until they slightly darken, about 5 minutes. Crush coarsely in a mortar and pestle.
5. Place the seeds in medium bowl. Whisk in the coconut oil, curry powder, paprika, and salt. Pour dressing over the vegetables; toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with pepper.
6. Roast the vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.
7. Mound the vegetables in a large bowl. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This is the soup I told you about a few weeks ago. I made it up one day when I was so hungry for cooked canellini beans, chard and garlic. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! It is comforting and satisfying, as well as being a nutrition powerhouse.

1 C dried canellini beans, soaked overnight
1 large onion, medium dice
1-2 leeks, cleaned and sliced into half moons
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (or as much as you like)
2-3 small potatoes, chopped small
chicken stock (or stock of your choice)
olive oil
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 bunch chard, stems removed (actually, you can chop the stems finely and add them to the soup too!), and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 bunch kale, tough stems removed, cut into bite-size pieces
sprig of fresh thyme (optional)
1. Drain the water from the beans and place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by at least 3 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and partially cover. Cook until the beans are tender, about 40-50 minutes. Check for tenderness before draining off the cooking liquid. SAVE the cooking liquid! Set aside both beans and cooking liquid.
2.In the same pot, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the onion. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently to caramelize the onion. It will take about 7-10 minutes. If the onion starts to stick a little on the bottom, de-glaze the pot with a little of the chicken stock.
3. Add the leeks and continue to cook until they are wilted and fragrant, about 7 minutes.
4. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, and garlic, continuing to stir and sweat the vegetables for a few minutes.
5. When they have sweated, add the chicken stock, thyme sprig (if using), and  cannellini beans. Add just enough stock to cover the beans. I use a little of the bean cooking liquid as well - but not all: you want to reserve some of the cooking liquid for the puree.
6. Cook the soup until all of the ingredients are tender.
7. Remove mixture from heat and puree in a blender, a few cups at a time, adding a little of the bean cooking liquid with each batch to help puree. Blend until smooth. Put in a bowl and continue the process, leaving a cup or two of the beans whole, if desired, for texture.
8. Return the puree to the soup pot and heat on medium. Add the chopped greens to wilt them - just a few minutes, until they are tender.
9. Taste and adjust seasoning. I find that this soup needs a little extra sea salt - more than I normally use. Taste it before you add too much.
10. This is super delicious with the above-mentioned Arugula and Greens Salad with Apple and Persimmon and Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette. Oh, and also some real crusty, crunchy bread! (and BUTTER!)

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

October 30th - Pumpkin & Spice Baking Workshop

(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

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. *November's class will be the third Sunday (Nov 20) so as not to coincide with Thanksgiving weekend. And due to multiple requests, Debbie plans to be at the November class! [Who's Debbie?]

There will be no class in December, but classes will resume in January.


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