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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
10th Harvest Week, Winter Season 6 - last winter share!
March 1st, 2012
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
This Week's Preserve Option from Happy Girl Kitchen
A Short Pause: Always Much to Appreciate
Orchard Pruning and Grafting
Live Earth Farm - Kid's Corner
Sheep To Shawl - Save the date!
Art on the Farm - Kids Summer Camp
New: Join or refer new CSA member and get web store credit!
Rebecca's Recipes
2011/12 Winter Calendar

"It was then the month of March, the days were growing longer, winter was departing. Winter always carries with it something of our sadness; then April came, that daybreak of summer, fresh like every dawn, gay like every childhood; weeping a little sometimes like the infant that it is. Nature in this month has charming gleams which pass from the sky, the clouds, the trees, the fields, and the flowers, into the heart of man."
Victor Hugo, from Les Miserables

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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.


Quantities of certain items will be more in the larger shares. Delicate items are sometimes packed outside your box. If so, it will be spelled out next to your name on the checklist at your pick-up site. 


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
Broccoli or broccolini
Red cabbage
Green cabbage
Red onions (Pinnacle Organic)
Baby spinach (maybe, if sized up enough)
Mystery preserve item - possibly two! (will be inside your box) 


Regular (Medium) Share
Broccoli or broccolini
Green cabbage
Red onions (Pinnacle Organic)
Baby spinach (maybe, if sized up enough)
Mystery preserve item - possibly two! (will be inside your box)   


Budget (Small) Share
Broccoli or broccolini
Red cabbage
Red onions (Pinnacle Organic)
Baby spinach (maybe, if sized up enough)
Mystery preserve item! (will be inside your box)   


Bread Option

This week's bread will be sesame whole wheat    


Preserve Option

Two preserved items from Happy Girl Kitchen: this week - Spicy Apple Chutney and Strawberry Vinegar (see below for descriptions) 



This Week's Preserve Option from Happy Girl Kitchen
Spicy Apple Chutney: All organic ingredients include apples, raisins, ginger, sugar, apple juice, lemon juice, spices.

Strawberry vinegar: LEF strawberries and filtered water, fermented then aged 7 mos.

A Short Pause: Always Much to Appreciate
Rainbow on the farmThe winter CSA is coming to an end as we harvest, pack and deliver this week's share. Our heartfelt thanks go out to you, our committed members, for sharing this journey with us through the challenges of this season. It is a testament that we can indeed integrate a year-round, locally grown diet into our lifestyle. Not everyone goes for a winter CSA, but it has definitely grown in popularity since we began offering it six years ago. And by continuing the CSA through the winter, we are able to employ a significant number of our workers year 'round, so thank you on behalf of the entire Live Earth Farm work crew and staff.

All around us signs abound that the dormant season is over, and so we are asked, once again, to engage in another cycle of life and nourishment. The apricot and plum trees have burst into bloom. Many seedlings have been planted or are germinating, growing young fragile shoots and roots in what, at this time of year, are still unpredictable growing conditions. Now comes the time to take a short break from CSA harvests and deliveries. It's time to pay attention to this seasonal transition and prepare the stage for the main season, Blooming apricot treewhen our regular 33 week CSA program starts (our 17th growing season!), on April 4th. As with all newly-born life forms, young flowers, plants and animals are the most vulnerable right now, requiring a lot of attention and the right conditions to flourish -- conditions such as good weather, soil fertility, sufficient water supply, the right temperature, low pest pressure, the skills, wisdom and health of all the workers who steward the land, and so on. In farming, we all depend on a vast and rich web of interdependencies; we can't take any of these support structures for granted. The absence of even one creates an imbalance.

Live Earth Farm is built upon the generosity of others and this interconnected support structure. It starts with the generosity of the soil - i.e. all those oft-forgotten soil organisms - and continues through the many dedicated and creative people in our community. In a sustainable food system, everyone plays a part in the stewardship of the land. It is our vision that all people have access to diverse, flavorful and healthy food. We want our farm to be a place where everyone can experience a sustainable food production system first hand, with the intention of revitalizing a direct connection to the source of their nourishment and the seasonal cycle of nature.

This year we're kicking off the Spring Season with our 3rd Annual "Sheep-to-Shawl" event on March 24th. Then throughout the season we'll host Community Farm Days on the last Saturday of every month (mark your calendars April-November). These days typically include u-picks, family field activities, farm tours, and educational hands-on programs. And of course we want everyone to join us for our two main seasonal celebrations, the Summer Solstice Celebration on June 16th and Fall Harvest Festival on October 20th.  
Of course one important way to support Live Earth Farm is to become a CSA member. This year we are limiting membership to 750 shares (down from 900 last year). We still have openings though, so if you are planning to sign up, now is a good time. We would really like to start the season fully subscribed, and so to help us meet this goal, we are offering a small incentive (see below). Thank you for your support and I hope you will come join us on the farm sometime this year as we celebrate another flavorful nourishing seasonal journey.

- Tom

Speaking of community creativity, below is the final surface treatment of our cob oven from Claudine's cob building workshop on the farm mid-February. 
The cob oven's finishing touches, from Claudine's workshop last weekend. 

Orchard Pruning and Grafting
The last few weeks we have been busy pruning and grafting in the orchards. The weather has been ideal for grafting, so we decided (with the help of Jim Rider, a local 3rd generation organic apple grower) to diversify our orchards by grafting 8 new apple varieties onto a stand of Newtown Newly grafted apple treesPippins. If all goes well, in a couple of years we should be able to increase our selection of varieties from the current Galas, Fuji, Summerfelt, and Newtowns to include Breaburn, Jonagolds, MacIntosh, Pink Pearl, Pink Lady, Gravenstein, Howards, and Honey Crisp.
The warm weather has also triggered the pear trees to break dormancy, so we have been very busy pruning them before their flower buds open. Each tree is an individual; their training and pruning is an art form based upon scientific principles of tree growth and physiology. There are many variables. Varieties differ in growth characteristics and response to pruning cuts, root stocks, soil, and growing conditions. Trees are pruned to help maintain a balance between vegetative and reproductive growth throughout the tree, and to maintain desired tree shape and size, with an open canopy to allow penetration of sunlight.

Pruning in the orchards 

Live Earth Farm - Kid's Corner
Got a favorite picture (or two or three) of your child interacting with LEF CSA veggies? We're more than happy to share them with the group. Email them to the farm and we'll see they get into the newsletter! This week's entry is from Kim Roper, who says, "Eric the Red is not exactly a child, but I do love him dearly. He actually ate the leaves at the base of the Romanesco cauliflower!"

Eric the Red sampling the Romanesco cauliflower  

Sheep To Shawl - Save the date!
Sheep to Shawl plug
Please join us on Saturday, March 24th (rain date March 31st) from 11am to 3pm for Live Earth Farm Discovery Program's 3rd Annual Sheep to Shawl Event!  You and your family can participate in the whole process of bringing wool from the sheep to a shawl, including every step in between!  Rotate through different stations, enjoy snacks & lemonade, and support local crafters as they sell their art made from sheep products!  $10-15 per carload. Please RSVP to lefeducation@baymoon.com.
Click here for flyer (pdf) with additional information.

Let us know if you are interested in volunteering for the event and/or being a vendor and selling your arts and crafts at the event!

Art on the Farm - Kids Summer Camp
It's not too early to start thinking about it - your child can be an art-camper (ages 6-12) or a camp leader (age 13+) at one of four different weekly summer day camps at the farm. Click here to read all the details on our website (scroll down on the page past the calendar to "Activities We Offer"), or click on the image below for our color flyer (pdf).

Art Camp at Live Earth Farm!

New: Join or refer new CSA member and get web store credit!
Our Regular 2012 CSA season begins in one month (first week of April) and we're still interested in getting new members, so we've come up with some incentives, in the form of web store credit! There are two ways you can receive credit:

1) Have you been putting off subscribing, on the fence, thinking about it? Here's a little impetus to get you to go for it: simply sign up between now and April 30th and receive $10 in web store credits!

2) Already a member? Refer a new member (member must sign up by April 30th) and you can receive $10 in web store credits too!

If you have questions about this, contact Jason at the farm office.
831.763.2448 or farmers@cruzio.com 

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 - I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful box ingredients. I am so grateful for the winter's abundance and looking forward to the Spring's delicious offerings! Please send me an e-mail with your thoughts, comments, and suggestions. Have a beautiful week filled with joyous cooking thanks to the farm and its bounty.
Blessings, Rebecca
[click here to email Rebecca]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


1 lb. potatoes, washed but not peeled, and cut into chunks
1 large bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed, and shredded
1 small head of green cabbage, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup milk or half-and-half
1 Tbsp. butter
3 oz. sharp cheddar or other hard cheese, coarsely grated and divided
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain, reserving cooking liquid, and set aside. Boil kale, cabbage and onion in potato water about 5 minutes, adding more water if needed. Drain and set aside. Peel the potatoes (if you like, or not) and mash with milk or butter (peel if using a ricer). Squeeze water from vegetables, and stir into potato mixture. Mix in 2/3 of the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to buttered baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Heat it through in a 350 degree oven until cheese on top is slightly browned.

Serves 6

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. organic ground turkey (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. thyme, dried
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium apple, diced
6 c. broth
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes tomatoes,
1 1/2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. paprika, preferably Hungarian sweet
3 c. coarsely chopped cabbage
1-2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

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

Serves 6-8

12 oz. mixed greens of choice
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large bunch green onions, or baby leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 tsp. peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 c. brown rice, preferably basmati (makes 3 1/2 c. cooked)
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 oz. Asiago cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 c.) plus additional for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

1. Soak rice in 2 1/4 c. water with a pinch of salt for 4-12 hours in the refrigerator. Bring rice and its soaking water to a boil, add additional 1/2 tsp. salt, reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, 40-45 minutes.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the greens and cook until they are just wilted, about 1 minute. Use a mesh skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer greens to a colander and let cool slightly, reserving liquid.
3. Press the greens to remove any excess water, then transfer to a board and coarsely chop. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks with the ginger, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook, until softened, about 2 minutes.
4. Combine the rice, chopped greens, butter, and 1 1/2 c. of the reserved cooking water and cook, stirring, until water is absorbed, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve additional cheese at the table if desired.

Servings: 12
1 c. red quinoa
2 c. water or stock
1 bunch collard greens or chard, leaves kept whole
1/2 c. almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. unsweetened dried cranberries
1/2 c. goat feta cheese, crumbled
2 wedges preserved lemon, diced finely (optional)
1/2 tsp sea salt, if not using the preserved lemon
1 orange, juice and zest
1/4 c. olive oil
sea salt and pepper

1. Combine quinoa, water or stock, and a pinch of salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl to coll.
2. Meanwhile blanch the collard or chard greens for 1 minute, then plunge into a bath of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry, lying flat on towels. Gently remove stems.
3. When quinoa is slightly colored, stir in almonds, cranberries, feta, lemons, if using, or salt, and orange zest.
4. Lay out a collard or chard leaf on a flat surface and put a scoop of the quinoa mixture in the center of the leaf. Fold sides in then roll it up tightly, trimming edges if necessary. Repeat with the remaining leaves. You can make smaller dolmas by cutting the leaves in half or quarters and following the same procedure.
5. Whisk together the orange juice and olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the dolmas at room temperature and drizzle without orange oil. To serve dolmas warm, place on a steamer and steam for 5 minutes then drizzle with the oil. Dolmas will keep in a container in refrigerator for a few days. Store the orange oil separately, at room temperature.

Note: learn first-hand how to make the above recipe and the following three at the next "Let's Cook!" cooking school class in Santa Cruz this Friday March 2nd, 6:30 - 9:30pm. Click here for more details.

Servings: 12

1 c. adzuki beans, soaked overnight
1 3-inch piece kombu
5 c. water
1 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil
1/2 c. diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. minced ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 lb.chard, stems removed and leaves chopped
3 Tbs. tamari
1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds

1.    Drain the beans, rinse well and combine in a pot with water and kombu. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, or until the beans are tender. When done, drain and set aside.
2. Heat the sesame oil in a large pan on medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, ginger, and black pepper until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
3. Add the chopped greens to the onion mixture and stir to coat.
4. Add the tamari and continue to cook over medium heat until the greens begin to wilt. Add the beans to the greens and continue to simmer for about 8 minutes, until the greens are tender. Finish with the toasted sesame oil and garnish with toasted seeds.

Yield: 6 snack-size servings You may want to triple this recipe - it is that delicious!

1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 inch sprig tarragon (optional)
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 medium beets, trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
1/3 c. mint, coarsely chopped

1. Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Tightly wrap the beets in parchment paper then aluminum foil and roast on a baking sheet until tender, about 1-1/4 hours. Vent the beets by opening the foil packages slightly. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
2. While the beets are roasting, reduce the orange juice to 2 Tbs. with tarragon sprig (if using), in a sauce pan over medium heat.
3. In a small saute pan, toast the cumin seeds lightly, then crush with a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice with the lemon, cumin, salt, and pepper. Whisk in olive oil and let stand while beets are roasting.
5. When the beets are cool enough, peel them. Discard the stems, then cut them into half-inch wide wedges.
6. Heat a skillet over low heat, add the vinaigrette, and toss in warm beets until thoroughly glazed. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the mint just before serving.
7. These beets are great as a snack or side dish, but also wonderful served as a salad by placing on a bed of arugula and spinach and sprinkling with toasted walnuts.


3 large eggs, separated
2 Tbs. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. lemon juice (2 lemons) [LEF meyer lemons have been on the small side so you may need more than two - Debbie]
1 Tbs. lemon zest
1/4 c. flour
Berry Sauce (see below)

1. Place a buttered 5-6 c. souffle or other straight-sided baking dish in a large baking pan (at least 2" deep) Set aside.
2. In a deep bowl, whip the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Continue to beat, gradually adding 1/4 c. sugar, until whites hold short, distinct peaks; set aside.
3. In another bowl (no need to wash beaters), beat egg yolks, remaining 1/2 c. sugar, 2 Tbs. butter, and lemon zest on high speed until the mixture is thick and light in color. Stir in the buttermilk, lemon juice, and flour. Add about 1/4 of egg whites to batter; stir to mix well. Gently, but thoroughly fold in the remaining eggs whites.
4. Pour batter into the souffle dish. Set dish in pan on center rack of oven. Pour boiling water into pan up to the level of the batter. Bake until pudding is a rich brown on top and feels firm in the center when lightly touched, about 1 hour.
5. Serve warm or cold, scooping portions from the bottom of dish to get custard. Accompany with berry sauce. Additional fruit-raspberries, strawberries, blueberries-may be added as garnish.

In a blender or food processor, smoothly puree 2 C washed and drained berries [use thawed frozen berries this time of year (Feb) - don't buy fresh berries flown in from out of the country! Some farmers markets have fresh strawberries from the Central Valley; if the're organic, go for it. Our strawberries won't be ripe until the start of the spring season. - Debbie] with 1 Tbs. sugar and 1 Tbs. berry-flavored liquer (optional). Rub the puree through a fine strainer into a bowl to remove the seeds. Sauce can be covered and chilled for up to 2 days.

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) "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.

Sheep to Shawl

Saturday March 24th, 11am to 3pm (details

Cob Building Workshop at LEF

3-day workshop here on the farm, Feb 18, 19 & 20 (details

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.



Contact Information
Farm/CSA Office phone: (831) 763-2448
LEF Discovery Program Office phone: (831) 728-2032