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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
9th Harvest Week, Season 16
May 30th - June 5th, 2011
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
Follow-up on "Inside the Beltway"
Community Farm Day/Strawberry U-pick this Saturday June 4th!
Return Your Jars at the Community Farm Day
Organic Farm Education Apprenticeship at Live Earth Farm
Rebecca's Recipes
2011 Calendar

" Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead

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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
Red beets
Carrots (purple or orange)
Green garlic
Mei qing choi
Bunching onions (scallions)
Rapini (broccoli rabe)

Small Share
Red beets
Carrots (purple or orange)
Green garlic
Mei qing choi

Budget Share
Carrots (purple or orange)
Green garlic
Mei qing choi

Bread Option

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

Extra Fruit Option

4 baskets of strawberries is the plan. Please always go by items/quantities listed next to your name on the checklist though. 

Meat Chickens
Next delivery of meat chickens will be Week 11 (15th, 16th, 17th of June)

Follow-up on "Inside the Beltway"
At first glance, Washington DC -- the epicenter of political power -- is not where one feels at home voicing the hands-on needs of farmers. The history of the United Sates is enshrined in the landscape of this city, it is the backdrop of everything that takes place here. Walking among the many impressive large marble monuments and buildings, several resembling roman temples, one is struck by the concentration of power and wealth reflected in them. The wide avenues and expansive parks are peppered with memorials commemorating the people who gave their lives during the many, often violent, events that have shaped the history of this country. It takes a leap of faith to believe that here resides the government, the one that Lincoln fought for and which we elect; a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Last week I had the opportunity to glimpse the inner working of this government with a  diverse group of California farmers representing a broad spectrum of agricultural operations small and large, organic and conventional [click here for last week's story, if you missed it]. Much of our time was spent in meetings at the various institutions in charge of agriculture-related programs such as the Department of Agriculture (Trade, Natural Resource Conservation, Pest and Disease Control and Prevention, Education, Research, Crop Insurance , etc), Food & Drug Administration (Food Safety), Environmental Protection Agency (Pesticide Regulation, Water and Air Quality), and the Department of Interior (Water Supply). For me some of the highlights were the meetings we had with our elected officials in the House of Representatives. Farmers from Santa Cruz and Monterey met with our Representative, Sam Farr, and the entire California delegation also had a chance to meet with Senator Feinstein.

It quickly became very clear that the overarching issue casting a cloud of uncertainty over every program in the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill is the budget deficit, and the many spending cuts that are being proposed to address it. Already during our stay there, the House Agriculture Appropriations Committee voted on over 2 billion dollars in spending cuts that would suspend many of the hard-won sustainable agriculture and conservation programs passed in the last (2008) Farm Bill. I believe it is wrong that we are trying to balance the budget by cutting these beneficial programs while leaving large entitlement programs for commodity crops intact. I was happy to hear this same argument being made by Sam Farr, who believes that funding from commodity crops could be shifted if it was done so in a way that would address the health and nutrition issues of 40 million Americans currently on food stamps, plus the 30% of children and adolescents in the United Sates that are severely overweight. He encouraged us to work together to overcome our differences and help send a strong message to Washington to make such a shift possible.

Another pressing issue had to do with immigration. The Republican-led House is considering legislation to require all employers to use electronic verification to determine the eligibility status of prospective employees before hiring occurs. Currently no meaningful guestworker program exists to help many of the foreign-born agricultural workers aquire a visa to legally enter and exit the United States. The enforcement of such a verification system without a guestworker program could bring California's -- if not the entire country's -- food supply to its knees. Senator Feinstein is opposed to an employee verification system without a  guest worker program, and believes it would not pass in the Senate, but in the House there is a good chance that it will.

With elections in 2012, and the Farm Bill in need of being reauthorized, many challenges lay ahead to change the legislation that shapes and defines our nation's food supply. We have the opportunity to get involved individually, as families, through community organizations, through schools and churches, and via state and national organizations, to demand a healthy and sustainable food system. The experience I came away with from my trip to Washington is that citizens have the ability to change things at the local level if they are willing to organize, speak up, agitate and start a movement that will be heard by our elected officials in Washington. It is our right and responsibility to elect the officials that respond to the needs of the communities they represent. The health of this nation is based on the fact that we find resolution, recognizing our differences,  and reach out rather than face away from the challenges at hand.

- Tom
Farmer Tom visits DC as a member of the California Farm Bureau delegation
Our capitol; Farmer Tom (2nd from left) with fellow Farmers in DC; urban farm in front of Smithsonian

Community Farm Day/Strawberry U-pick this Saturday June 4th!
This coming Saturday, June 4th, everyone is invited to come to the farm for a Strawberry U-Pick/Community Farm Day. Community Farm Days are not the same as our Summer Solstice and Fall Harvest Celebrations (which always have music and workshops and a big potluck); instead, as with all such community days that 'Farmer Tom' leads, they are about getting to know the land/the farm, and experiencing it from a more hands-on perspective. So although the theme for this farm day is "Strawberries", it will be about more than just Strawberries. We will go on a walking tour to explore the orchards and surrounding fields, and if we have time we'll visit the animals as well (of course we'll have time). So please come prepared to spend some time outdoors, bring your own snacks and drinks, and containers to carry your bounty. Strawberry U-pick will only cost $1.50/lb and we'll limit the amount to 25 lbs (depending on the available bounty on Saturday). Eating in the fields is free!!:-)

The weather may be foggy/sunny/drizzly so bring something warm and dry, as well as your own lunch. We will also have the tractor and trailer set up to help us carry our harvest, as well as anyone who might be in need of a ride.

Hope to see you all Saturday!

- Tom

When: Saturday Jun 4, 10am - 4pm
Where: Enter the farm at our "New Barn" entrance at 1275 Green Valley Road (click here for directions)
Parking: Please follow the parking signs when you get here.
Cost: attendance is free to CSA members, or a $10 - $15 donation per car for non-members (donations go to our Discovery Program)
Other: We ask that you do not bring dogs to our farm; please leave them at home.

U-pick day on the farm

Return Your Jars at the Community Farm Day
Do you have an accumulation of jars from jams and preserves you have received either via Web Store orders or past Preserve Options (winter share) that you would like to return to Happy Girl Kitchen for re-use? Bring them this Saturday when you come to the Community Farm Day! Taylor will have a place in the barn to collect them, and Happy Girl Kitchen will be thrilled to get them back!

Organic Farm Education Apprenticeship at Live Earth Farm
Interested in spending a year or more on the Central Coast of California? We have a new opening for a Farm Education Apprenticeship and are now accepting applications.

Live Earth Farm, established in 1996, is a 100 acre diversified, organic, family farm overlooking the Pajaro Valley in the Santa Cruz area of California.  We offer a year round CSA with 800+ members during the regular season.  We grow 50 different fruits and vegetables ranging from perennial fruit trees to a wide variety of annual crops.  We sell our produce at five area farmer's markets and through our CSA program.

We are offering a Farm Educator Apprenticeship. This apprenticeship will have a unique focus on our education programs. The apprentice will spend at least 80% of their time on these activities and the other 20% on farm tasks. Education programs include, but are not limited to: a weekly visit by 7th and 8th grade Montessori students, half day farm tours for students of all ages, once monthly home schooling family visits, and a diversity of community farm days.

The position will involve leading farm tours, working with ongoing farm education programs and some office work such as scheduling farm tours, processing deposits and payments, and data entry. Farm tasks include vegetable and fruit propagation and production and marketing, animal care and greenhouse management.

The right person for this position will be able to demonstrate experience and basic theoretical knowledge in organic and sustainable food production systems, as well as basic office skills. Experience working with kids in an outdoor setting is a plus. Ideally, you will have worked an entire season on a farm or garden project and be bilingual in Spanish. This is a learning experience, we expect you to arrive with a good work ethic and a positive attitude. Please be aware that farming is hard work and we require a full year commitment. This is a position for someone seriously interested in sustainable farming, food, and community education. It can serve as a stepping stone to pursuing a career as an educator and/or farmer, as we offer the opportunity to learn the ropes of a small scale organic farming operation and farm education nonprofit.

We ask that you arrive on the farm by July 1.  This will give our Education Director and current apprentice an opportunity to work with you one on one.  We ask that you stay for a full year through June 2012 and ideally longer so that you can participate in the full school year cycle. 

40 hrs/wk

$16,000/year. A private yurt and communal living area and kitchen are available for rent for $500/mo. We strongly encourage living on site, due to the nature of the work. In addition, the farm will provide produce, eggs, and goat's milk.

Application Procedure:
To apply, please fill out our application (it is a Word document, also available on our website) and send it along with a resume and a cover letter describing your interests and why you would like to be an apprentice at Live Earth Farm to:
Jessica Ridgeway
or call: (831) 728-2032.

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?"]  


Hello again everyone! Here I begin on a cold, foggy morning... this kind of weather is so agreeable to staying inside and cooking! With all the amazing produce this week, I feel like I could cook for days in complete bliss. Since we have been having such unpredictable weather, I decided to share a great mineral broth recipe with you that is so nourishing and also helps to boost the immune system. It works well as a stock for cooking grain, cooking broth for the vegetables, and just for drinking to give you an extra boost! Also, Debbie tells me we've been getting lots of beautiful lettuce these last couple weeks, so I have included several dressing recipes for you to play with. Note that they are also delicious on steamed veggies! Enjoy! - Rebecca

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

Mighty Mineral Broth
Servings: 6

1 lb. carrots (sometimes I add a yam, too)
1 lb. broccoli or broccoli rabe
1 bunch bok choi or mei qing choi
1 lb. spinach, kale, or chard (or a combination thereof)
1/2 bunch parsley; or 1/2 bunch of mixed fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, thyme, or oregano [or part parsley, part herbs - Debbie]
1/2 C shitake mushrooms
1 piece of kombu seaweed (can be found at the health food store and is so great for boosting the nutritional value of this broth)
1/4 C flax seeds

1. Wash the vegetables, chop into 3-inch pieces, leaving the skins on. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, put crunchy vegetables first. Then add the leafy greens, herbs, mushrooms, and seaweed. Cover with water leaving 2-inches at the top.
2. Bring this to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 4 hours.
3. Add the flax seeds and simmer for 1 more hour. Turn off the heat. Allow to cool down for 30 minutes.
4. Strain the mixture through a large colander set on top of another pot or mixing bowl. Broth will be a smooth liquid.
5. Refrigerate or freeze when cool.

Drink warm for a real energy boost. You can add to soups, cook grains with it, or you can puree it with the vegetable pulp from the original pot. This broth is so helpful in soothing a weary body and makes one feel so good!

Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) with Capers and Olives
adapted from Greens by Deborah Madison with Edward Epse Brown
Serves 4-6

1 bunch broccoli rabe (rapini)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. small capers
12 kalamata olives, pitted (or olives of your choice)
3 scallions, finely sliced
1 tbsp.parsley, chopped
1 tsp. fresh marjoram, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Balsamic vinegar to taste
sea salt and pepper
optional: sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced, or roasted red peppers

1. Make a dressing with the garlic, olive oil, capers, olives, scallions, parsley, marjoram, red pepper flakes (if using), and the balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt.
2. Wash and then steam the broccoi rabe until just tender. Drain in a colander.
3. Combine the broccoli with the rest of the ingredients and toss together. Taste for salt, add more oil or vinegar, if needed, and a grinding of black pepper. If you don't plan to serve the salad right away, wait to add the final vinegar until just before serving to prevent the colors from fading.

Note: you can use lemon juice instead of the vinegar, and if using the sun dried tomatoes or roasted peppers, combine them with the dressing before tossing with the broccoli.

YUM! This next recipe is such a fun snack and so good for us!

Carrot Pudding Snack
Servings: 6

1 1/2 C sliced carrots
1/3 C cold water
1/3 C orange juice (fresh, if available)
2 tsp. agar-agar (a thickener that can be found at the health food store - used instead of gelatin)
3/4 C boiling water
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
1/4 C vanilla protein powder (optional - great for boosting)
1/3 C coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp. unsweetened coconut meat, flaked
2 tbsp. currants
2 tbsp. almonds, macadamia nuts, or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Steam carrots until very soft (approx. 15 minutes) then set aside to cool.
2. Place cold water and orange juice in a small sauce pan and add the agar-agar. Warm over low heat until agar is completely dissolved, then stir and cover. Remove from the heat and let stand for 2 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend on low for about 30 seconds until frothy.
3. Add the boiling water, cooked carrot, ginger, protein powder, coconut milk, vanilla, and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the side with a spatula. Taste and adjust sweetness with the honey or maple syrup and blend again.
4. Mix in the coconut and currants and pour into a container or individual servers. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Before serving, sprinkle with toasted nuts.

Since we have been getting so many leafy greens and lettuces I thought I would give you some of my favorite dressing recipes to enjoy. Hope you have fun with these.

Dreamy Tahini Dressing
Makes about 3/4 C

1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 C chopped red onion
1/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. white miso
2 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
1/3 C tahini
1/4 C water
1/4 C sesame oil or olive oil
pinch of cayenne

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree on high until smooth, thinning with water-in 1 tbsp. increments as needed.

Orange-Balsamic Dressing
1/2 C orange juice
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. mustard
1/2. tsp. honey
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, minced

In a screw-top jar, combine the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Close and shake to combine. Store dressing in the refrigerator.

Fresh Ginger and Lime Dressing
2 tbsp. fresh ginger juice (from about 1/3 C fresh grated ginger)
1 tsp. grated lime zest
1/4 C fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt

1. Place the grated ginger in a small fine-mesh sieve and set over a small bowl. Press the ginger to extract the juice. Discard the ginger solids. [Note from Debbie: you can also generate ginger juice by putting your grated or chopped ginger in a garlic press and squeezing over a small bowl.]
2. Whisk the lime juice, lime zest, honey, oil, and salt. Store in the refrigerator.

Blue Cheese Dressing
3/4 C plain yogurt
1 oz. blue cheese
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. minced chives or scallions greens

In a food processor or blender, combine the yogurt, blue cheese, vinegar, lemon juice, pepper, and salt. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chives. Store in the refrigerator.

Creamy Carrot Dressing
makes 3/4 C

1/3 C carrot juice
1/3 C plain yogurt
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 large shallot, quartered
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

Shallot, Mustard, and Flax Seed Oil Dressing
makes 1/2 C

1/4 C balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. flaxseed oil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 shallot, minced  or 2 tbsp. minced red onion
1 clove garlic or small stalk of green garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to blend. Store the dressing in the refrigerator.

Sweet and Sour Peanut Sauce
makes 1 3/4 C

2 cloves garlic (or use green garlic)
1/2 C creamy peanut butter (or you can substitute almond butter)
2/3 C chopped cilantro
1/2 C water
2 tbsp. rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. reduced sodium soy-sauce
2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. salt

1. In a small saucepan of boiling water, cook the garlic for 2 minutes to blanch. Drain.
2. Transfer the garlic to a blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

Debbie says we're not getting fresh onions or leeks this week, however some of you may still have them on hand from prior weeks' boxes. This is a delicious way to eat radicchio!

Radicchio and Spinach Salad with Slow-Cooked Onions
Servings: 6

For Onion Mixture:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 medium leeks, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
1 medium sweet onion, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
1 large white onion, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
6 medium shallots, trimmed
(you can really use any combination of onions/leeks/shallots; this is just a guide)
8 sprigs of fresh thyme

For Salad:
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic, finely minced (or can use green garlic)
1 tsp. coarse mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 medium heads of radicchio
5 C fresh spinach leaves
1/4 C finely chopped scallions
lemon wedges, for garnish

To prepare onion mixture:
1. Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a large   shallow baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over each end of the pan.
2. Whisk together the olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the onions, shallots and leeks, tossing to coat. Spread onion mixture in an even layer on prepared baking pan and scatter thyme sprigs on top. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper, crimping all around, sealing to form a package.
3. Roast onions until tender, about 1 hour. Carefully remove the top sheet of paper and turn on the broiler. Broil the mixture about 5 minutes, 5-6 inches from the heat, until tops of onions are browned and caramelized. Check frequently, removing pieces as they brown. Discard the thyme.

To prepare salad:
1. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
2. Trim the radicchio and cut into bite size pieces.
3. Just before serving, combine radicchio and spinach with the dressing along with the scallions and toss lightly until coated. Divide among 6 plates and top with warm onion mixture.

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 5/9/11; 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 3rd - Community Farm Day - From Seed to Bread (no apricot u-pick) :-(
Aug 27th - Community Farm Day - U-pick tomatoes (our "Totally Tomatoes" day)
Sept 24th Sept 10 - "Taste of the Fields" wine and hors d'oeuvres fundraiser for LEFDP
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