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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
1st Harvest Week, Winter Season 6
December 1st, 2011
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
Farm Cycles: Of Food, Seasons & Community Support
Newsletters will not be every week this winter
Winter CSA Delivery Schedule
2012 Season - early registration discount ends Dec 31st
Give a CSA Gift Certificate for Christmas!
Rebecca's Recipes
2011 Winter Calendar

"Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle..."
- Black Elk

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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.


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 (Large) Share
Romanesco cauliflower

Collards or kale
Potatoes +
Daikon radish
Strawberry jam (will be inside your box) 


Regular (Medium) Share
Brussels sprouts
Romanesco cauliflower
Collards or kale
Daikon radish
Strawberry jam (will be inside your box) 


Budget (Small) Share
Romanesco cauliflower
Cilantro Collards or kale
Strawberry jam (will be inside your box) 


Bread Option

This week's bread will be... a surprise!   


Preserve Option

Two preserved items from Happy Girl Kitchen: this week - Pink Kraut and Membrillo!
(see below for descriptions) 


Winter Pasture-raised Chickens
There are three chicken deliveries in the Winter season: Week 3 (Dec 15), Week 4 (Jan 19) and Week 8 (Feb 16)

This Week's Preserve Option from Happy Girl Kitchen
Pink Kraut: Everything looks better in Pink (and kraut tastes better!).  This is our classic sauerkraut recipe, with red cabbage thrown into the mix. Our sauerkraut is a naturally fermented product and so should be refrigerated once you get it home.

Membrillo: This is a candy made from the antique fruit quince. It is one of the oldest candies made from a fruit and is wildly popular in other parts of the world such as Spain and Argentina. Membrillo tastes fabulous paired with Manchego cheese as a savory desert plate, or you can just cut it up and put it out as a special treat. Refrigerate to keep fresh and it will last 1 month.  ENJOY!

Farm Cycles: Of Food, Seasons & Community Support
Packing the Shares
LEF's resident wild turkeys wander near the upper boundary of the farm in early November.

On Thanksgiving morning after sliding a 32-pound brined and stuffed turkey into the oven, I went out to do chores, collect eggs, and feed the animals. Outside I coincidentally spotted our resident flock of wild turkeys, leisurely roaming under the pear orchard near the chicken pasture, probably attracted by the chicken feed. It struck me, with the domestic turkey roasting in the oven, how life is one continuous food chain, life feeding life. A light rain covered the fields like a blanket of tranquility; the entire farm landscape felt peaceful. The gentle showers invigorated the germinating fava beans and cover crops, and helped the bare-rooted strawberry plants, set in the ground only the day before, to get established in their new beds.  

Packing the Shares

We are embarking on our 6th Winter CSA, which means we're not slowing down quite yet, but with the Thanksgiving holidays behind us I can feel the farm shift into a lower and slower gear. The fruit trees have dropped nearly all their leaves, and because the days are now shorter (less daylight to work in the fields), there is more time to rest the spirit and celebrate the nourishing, savory and pleasurable dimensions of food with friends and family.

Despite this seasonal slowing, I still feel an accelerated time disorder, that sense that everything seems to be moving faster as we battle an unprecedented deludge of information and stimulation fed by the internet, e-mails, multimedia, social media, smartphones, videogames, television... all aimed at keeping us endlessly distracted. Packing the Shares I am sure I am not the only one suffering from this. Holidays can be especially overwhelming. So I encourage you to see your Winter Share as the antidote: think of cooking with the hardier winter crops not as burdensome and time consuming, but rather as an opportunity to slow this accelerated sense of time down, to allow the preparation and eating of a hearty soup or stew to be time for quiet reflection, fun and joy.

A heartfelt thanks to all who signed up for the 2011-12 Winter Season; once again Winter is sold out, and we are grateful for your commitment.

This may seem a bit early, but I encourage everyone to reserve their Live Earth Farm subscription for next year now, and take advantage of our 2012 season discounts which expire at year's end. Your early registration helps pay for salaries during the slower months ahead, for early spring purchases such as planting stock and seeds, for equipment repair and maintenance, and for investments in improved tools and equipment like the cultivation shed, mobile chicken coop, and updating our website -- for which we are currently looking for experts; if you are interested or know someone adept at developing a 'Content Management System' type website, please contact me at thomas@baymoon.com or (831) 760-0436.

Thank you for being a part of this farm's amazing supportive community.

- Tom

Newsletters will not be every week this winter
We're trying something new. We know everyone's busy, we know everyone gets lots of newsletters and emails from all over, and as we say at the top of every newsletter, we don't want to be anybody's spam!

So instead of sending a newsletter every delivery week, we are going to send them every other week (sort of; see delivery schedule, below). But we're aware that people like the reminder of the upcoming delivery, and want to see 'what's in the box' at the very least, so on any weeks we're not sending out a newsletter, Jason will email the membership with a simple reminder and an 'in the box' list.

Let us know how this works for you as we are considering making a similar change for the next Regular season.

Winter CSA Delivery Schedule
In case anyone is not sure, here is the full Winter delivery schedule. Note that ALL deliveries are on Thursdays - so those of you who are used to picking up on Wednesdays or Fridays during the regular season will need to make the mental switch!

Week 1: Thurs Dec 1, 2011 (newsletter)
Week 2: Thurs Dec 8, 2011
Week 3: Thurs Dec 15, 2011 (newsletter)
<no deliveries for four weeks over the winter holidays>
Week 4: Thurs Jan 19, 2012 (newsletter)
Week 5: Thurs Jan 26, 2012
Week 6: Thurs Feb 2, 2012 (newsletter)
Week 7: Thurs Feb 9, 2012
Week 8: Thurs Feb 16, 2012 (newsletter)
Week 9: Thurs Feb 23, 2012
Week 10: Thurs Mar 1, 2012 (newsletter)
<no deliveries the rest of March>
Regular 2012 CSA season begins Wed/Thu/Fri April 4, 5 and 6, 2012

This schedule is also posted on our website, on the "How does it work?" page.

2012 Season - early registration discount ends Dec 31st
Deliveries for our 2012 Regular Season don't begin until the first week of April 2012, but subscribe before December 31st and receive a 2% Early Registration discount on your choice of share box (discount is reflected in the currently listed price; the prices will rise on Jan 1). Pay in full, and receive another 2% discount on your entire subscription!

Remember if you want this discount but also plan on paying in installments, sign up in early December so you don't have two installments close together (1st installment is charged at signup, remaining are charged on the 1st of each month, so a Dec 29 signup would mean your first payment would be Dec 29, and then the next would be three days later, on Jan 1st).

To sign up, please go here now, or go to our website at any time and click on "Join."

Give a CSA Gift Certificate for Christmas!
LEF gift certificates

Looking for that special holiday gift?
Live Earth Farm is offering gift certificates redeemable in the 2012 Regular Season. Choose from two different certificates:

<> a 4-week trial of a Regular Share, or

<> a deluxe certificate for a 4-week trial of a Regular Share PLUS a dozen eggs PLUS an Extra Fruit option!

Gift Certificates can be purchased through the Web Store and will be mailed to you (rather than sent to your pick-up site). They are pretty enough to wrap up and put under the tree! Give the gift of fresh organic produce this holiday season. :-)

- Taylor
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?"]  


Blessings to everyone. I don't know about you, but I am thrilled to be getting my CSA box again. I have become so reliant on receiving it every week; it was so strange going to the Farmer's Market to buy veggies. Have you been making a lot of soups and stews? This cold weather has me pulling out old and true recipes that are warming and comforting. I am noticing that I am wanting heavier meals as opposed to the light Summer delights I'd been eating. Bring on the potatoes - red, white, purple, sweet, yams - hooray, I am eating them all! And, all the root vegetables and squashes are just delicious now. Kale seems to be more tender, too... hm, time for dinner! Hope you had a peaceful and delicious holiday. I am looking forward to hearing from you; feel free to email me. Wishing you vibrant, healthy eating. Rebecca

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

The vegetables:
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 head of white cauliflower
1 head of Romanesco cauliflower
[can use all the same color cauliflower if you want; its just nice to have the contrasting colors]
sea salt and pepper

The caper-mustard butter:
2 cloves garlic
sea salt and pepper
6 tbsp. of unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 C capers, drained
zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp. fresh marjoram, parsley, or oregano

To make caper butter:
1. Pound the garlic with 1/2 the salt in a mortar and pestle until smooth, then combine with the softened butter, the mustard, capers, lemon zest, and fresh herbs. Season with pepper.
To prepare the dish:
1. Trim stem end of sprouts and peel off any discolored leaves, then cut sprouts in half (or in quarters if large). Cut all the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes, then add the two cauliflowers and cook until tender, about 5 minutes*. Drain well, shaking off any excess water, then toss with the caper butter. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

*[I think I'd cook them all at once, and only for 4 minutes total measured from the time the water returns to a boil; you don't want to over-cook the veggies! You can always cook them longer, but you can't un-cook them if overdone.  - Debbie]

This next recipe is one of Karen Haralson's - thanks Karen, for this amazing and delicious dish!

3/4 C short grain brown rice
1/4 C wild rice
2 1/4 C water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 leek, quartered and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 stalk celery, diced
2 small fennel bulbs, diced
8-10 crimini mushrooms, diced
1/2 C dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 to 3/4 C pecans, chopped
1/4 C chopped parsley
1/4 C chopped fennel fronds

1. Combine wild and short-grain rice with water or stock and cook on low heat, covered, for 45-50 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest for 10 minutes before adding to the other ingredients.
2. In a large saute pan, saute the fennel in olive oil over low heat for 7-10 minutes, until the fennel softens and starts to turn golden. Add the celery and leek and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for another 7-10 minutes, or until they are soft.
3. Stir in the parsley and fennel fronds and cook for an additional minute.
4. Fluff the rice with a fork then add it to the vegetables in the pan, stirring to combine well.
5. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cranberries and pecans.

Serves 6-8

2 tbsp. butter
2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar or any slightly sweet vinegar
1/2 C olive oil, plus more for cooking
2 small heads Romanesco cauliflower, cut vertically into florets or thick slices
1 bulb of fennel (two, if small), thinly sliced

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When it starts to foam, stir in the shallots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots soften and start to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar and 1/2 C olive oil until slightly emulsified. Stir in the caramelized shallots, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Blanch the cauliflower in a large pot of salted water for 2-3 minutes. Shock in ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and dry well.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil; when it begins to shimmer, add the blanched cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the sliced fennel to the cauliflower and stir and cook about 3-5 minutes, to wilt and heat through. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl.
6. Pour the dressing over all and toss to combine. Check for seasoning and serve warm.

Serves 8

1-2 small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 bunch beets, trimmed and cut into wedges [save the greens! see below - Debbie]
1-2 bulbs fennel, cut into chunks [wedges work well; leave a bit of the root end attached to hold the leaves together]
2-3 leeks, cut in half and sliced lengthwise
8 carrots, sliced on the diagonal into 2-inch segments
Brussels sprouts (as many as you want), trimmed and cut in half
cauliflower florets (optional)
Romanesco cauliflower florets (optional)
1-2 fresh poblano chilis
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt, or more (to taste)
2 sprigs rosemary
1 large onion, diced
2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 medium daikon radish
1 bunch collard greens, kale or both [or wash and use the fresh beet greens!] stems removed and leaves cut into bite-sized pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wash and scrub all the vegetables. Set aside.
3. Remove the stems and the seeds from the poblano pepper; cut into bite-sized pieces. Strip the rosemary off its stems and coarsely chop.
4. Combine all the vegetables (except the greens, onion and daikon radish) in a large bowl; stir in the olive oil, enough to coat generously. Add the sea salt and chopped rosemary and mix well. Transfer mixture to a baking pan. Roast for about 1 hour, until you can easily pierce the vegetables with a fork.
5. After the vegetables have roasted about 45 minutes, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the greens and cook, stirring, until they turn a deep green, about 8 minutes. Take care not to overcook. Remove from the heat.
6. When ready to serve, assemble the cooked greens on a large serving platter. Splash lightly with balsamic vinegar, then arrange the roasted vegetables on top.
7. Lastly, grate the daikon radish over all the vegetables and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 C very thinly sliced red onion
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 large bunch kale (you can add some arugula and collards if you like)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 C pomegranate seeds
1/4 C raspberry vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 C olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1/4 C pumpkin seeds
1 large fuyu persimmon, sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces (apples are a good substitute if you don't have or don't like persimmons)
Wild rice (see below; optional)

1. Macerate the onion in a small bowl by adding the apple cider vinegar and  water to just cover. Let soak for 20 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out any excess moisture. This mellows the onion's sharpness and makes it a beautiful pink!
2. Prepare the kale. Wash leaves as needed, strip off stems, and tear into bite-sized pieces or stack, roll into a cigar and slice thinly (this is how you "chiffonade"). Add prepared kale to a large bowl and - now it's time to massage! Drizzle it with a little olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Massage with your hands, kneading and squeezing, until the kale begins to wilt and become soft. (Don't overdo it, otherwise the kale becomes limp; you just want it to soften and become a rich, dark green.)  Add the macerated onion and toss, then set aside.
3. Whisk together the raspberry vinegar and the lemon juice. Add olive oil in a slow stream and whisk continuously until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Add some dressing to the salad, just enough to coat lightly (you don't want it swimming). Toss in the pumpkin and pomegranate seeds, and persimmons (or apples). Add the cooked, cooled wild rice here, if using, and toss to combine, adding more dressing if necessary.

You can add cooked wild rice to this salad for a heartier dish:
1 C wild rice, rinsed
3 C water with a pinch of sea salt.

1. Combine the rice and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook about 45-50 minutes, until tender to the bite, but not blown open. Drain off excess water if necessary then put rice in a bowl and set aside to cool.

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, weather permitting]
($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, and the many wild members of the Pajaro watershed. RSVP requested.

LEFDP office: (831) 728-2032 or email lefeducation@baymoon.com.

Community Farm Days and Events

Nothing currently planned for winter. We'll update you here if that changes!


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



Contact Information
farm phone: (831) 763-2448
education programs/school field trips: (831) 728-2032