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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
3rd Harvest Week, Winter Season 6
December 15th, 2011
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
This Week's Preserve Option from Happy Girl Kitchen
Finishing the Year with Gratitude - Thanks to you all!
Winter CSA Delivery Schedule
2012 Season - early registration discount ends Dec 31st
Give a CSA Gift Certificate for Christmas!
An Intern's Experience, part 1
Rebecca's Recipes (and one from Debbie!)
2011 Winter Calendar

"Let's raise our eyes beyond the conventional horizon of a year and ask, "What kind of world would we like to have in a generation?"
- David Suzuki, from his book "The Legacy"

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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 (Large) Share
Green cabbage
Red cabbage
Romanesco cauliflower
Collards or kale
Daikon radishes
Strawberry-Blackberry jam (will be inside your box) 


Regular (Medium) Share
Green cabbage
Romanesco cauliflower
Collards or kale
Daikon radish
Strawberry-Blackberry jam (will be inside your box) 


Budget (Small) Share
Green cabbage
Romanesco cauliflower
Strawberry-blackberry jam (will be inside your box) 


Bread Option

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


Preserve Option

Two preserved items from Happy Girl Kitchen: this week - Pickled Beets and Jamalade!
(see below for descriptions) 


Winter Pasture-raised Chickens
Chicken delivery is this week (Dec 15). There are two remaining chicken deliveries in the Winter season: Week 4 (Jan 19) and Week 8 (Feb 16)

This Week's Preserve Option from Happy Girl Kitchen
Pickled Beets: Perfect for the holidays!

Jamalade: This recipe is where winter's citrus meets up with the first strawberries. It is a delight as the strawberries balance out the strong citrus flavors and the marmalade nicely suspends the texture and color and flavor of the delicate strawberries. Enjoy!

Finishing the Year with Gratitude - Thanks to you all!
Last week's wind storm, like a giant leaf blower, stripped the remaining fall foliage off all the deciduous trees and recent frosty mornings have slowed the farm to a more restful state. The seed catalogs are pouring in; the year is almost over and the farm and us "farmers" are ready to mimic nature's slow down as well. The lack of rain, although a bit worrisome, gave us time to finish a long list of end-of-season chores: pulling tomato stakes out of the ground;  cover-cropping; planting next year's strawberries; planting or sowing early spring crops of garlic, fava beans, carrots, beets, and broccoli;  weeding young winter crops; planting a new succession of raspberries; starting some much needed maintenance on equipment and establishing all the winter drainage ditches around our fields and farm roads.

Bare apricot trees

One of my favorite things to do during the holiday break is to browse through seed catalogs and let my imagination take flight. The farm fields turn into blank canvases on which to compose next season's crop plan. The crop plan is the roadmap we follow to ensure we have a timely, diverse, and nourishing supply of tasty fruits and vegetables over time. One new aspect of next year's crop plan is that I want to increase certain plantings in order to accommodate more community u-pick events on the farm.

This year I was surprised by how much people enjoyed coming out to the farm for u-picks. For example, instead of just one tomato u-pick (what we'd originally planned for), we had so many tomatoes and so much interest that we hosted three. So in 2012 I plan to set up a weekly u-pick calendar which will give CSA members more flexibility for getting to know "their" farm through hands-on harvest and field experiences. Coming out to the farm offers everyone an opportunity for real connection with nature, whether it be by digging our hands into the soil to plant a seed, pulling a carrot straight out of the soil to munch on, harvesting juicy sweet berries, collecting freshly laid eggs that are still warm, milking a goat with our own hands, or harvesting and preparing a meal that comes from the land. Our mission as a Community Supported Agriculture Farm is not only to grow and deliver the healthiest, freshest and best tasting food we can, but also - and equally important - to create strong, lasting partnerships with our members and build stewardship towards the farm and fields that nourish us.

As CSA members, friends and supporters of Live Earth Farm you have been instrumental in helping us to survive and prosper, nourishing all the relationships from the soil to the food on our plates. It is our commitment to actively participate in forging partnerships which move us towards an earth-friendly and truly sustainable food system. On this continuing journey, we extend our warmest and most heartfelt gratitude to all who participate in and support this farm.

From the entire Live Earth Farm Family, we wish you a happy Winter Solstice and a joyful Holiday Season.
little Ryan in santa suit petting a goat
- Tom

Dawne's son Ryan, in his favorite Santa
suit petting a farm goat.

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! And don't forget: we're not sending a full-on newsletter each week but instead alternating weeks (as marked below): 

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
Good news! The Farmigo people have updated the system so that if you sign up close to the end of a month and choose installment payments, you no longer are hit with two payments close together. They will be spread out at least 20 days apart (and you will be able to see when they are scheduled for in your account when you log in - another new feature).

So if you want to snag that Early Registration discount, sign up for the 2012 Regular Season before December 31st and receive a 2% off the cost of 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!

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!

It's too late to order one through the web store, but you can email Taylor  and she can take your order and mail it to you in time for Christmas. They are pretty enough to wrap up and put under the tree! Give the gift of fresh organic produce this holiday season. :-)

An Intern's Experience, part 1LEFDP logo
by Austin Bronner
[Austin is a student at UCSC]

As I lace my boots and put on my hat, I am excited to go to work. I feel like a lot of people can't say that. I am excited because every time I go to work for Live Earth Farm, I know I will learn something as well as teach something that day. The union of learning and teaching makes my life working at Live Earth not only enjoyable and interesting, but fully worthwhile.

I interned at Live Earth Farm for the 2011 fall quarter. I don't get paid monetarily, but I get paid with the satisfaction of teaching children, learning how organic farms make a difference in not only the way food is produced but the value it has for environmental and human health. During my time here at Live Earth, I worked giving educational farm tours with the farms Discovery Program, as well as completing agricultural tasks for the farm itself. I was fortunate that my request to divide my work between the Discovery Program and the farm was fulfilled.

I have a background in and passion for both proper education and organic farming. Both are elements of interaction between the land and people that have potential to create a world that can sustain human growth while minimizing the impact of which we, as humans, seem to destructively cause. Gandhi encouraged, "be the change you wish to see in the world." Live Earth Farm helped in that direction by encouraging education to young students and practicing sustainable farming techniques that promote utmost stewardship that extends beyond food production itself.

As mentioned, my job while interning for Live Earth Farm consisted of leading farm tours for students as well as practicing organic farming. I am grateful to be involved in such a program that teaches students of all ages, including myself. I am also currently working on an organic nursery and apply what I have learned from Live Earth to the nursery on a regular basis because Live Earth not only produces food but actively demonstrates positive land stewardship that all land owners can commit to such as establishing native hedgerows to perform specific ecosystem services or cover cropping to preserve land after years of intensive use to ensure that many years can appropriately follow.

On the occasional days where there would not be a tour or after I would finish a tour, I would work on the farm. I would typically work Mondays and Fridays because those were the days scheduled for the tours; however sometimes there would be no tour scheduled and I would just work on the farm that day. On Fridays, the farm would be harvesting for their community supported agriculture program (CSA) and the Saturday market. Mondays I would fill in to work on whatever was a priority at the moment. From installing irrigation to propagating seedlings, I would work the odds and ends of the farm. I learned how to tarp rows, plant strawberries, milk goats, establish hedgerows and cover crops, and how to care for chickens. This was not only a great experience but worthwhile in the sense that I learned how to practice positive land stewardship and simultaneously feed our communities in a sustainable way.

The combination of proper organic farming and education is one of the most important aspects of the agricultural community. First, research and scientific developments continue to improve organic farm practice to yield greater amounts of healthier produce. This also encourages conventional farmers to become more confident in their ability to delve into the organic market with less risk. Secondly, it is important to address the consumer end of the market. Public education and awareness of sustainable food systems is a significant factor in the success of organic markets.  Many people are ignorant to the fact that organic food production better sustains high quality land, water, soil, and air than conventional monoculture. The more people are educated about where their food comes from and how it was produced, the more people will realize how conventional food production is linked to pollution, high oil dependency, and human health problems.

Please stay tuned to the next newsletter to read the rest of Austin's article relating the details of typical fall farm tour.

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 everyone - I am wising you a peaceful, beautiful, loved-filled holiday complete with lots of amazing veggies from the farm. We will have a few weeks without the abundance, which makes me even more appreciative of all that we do receive. How blessed we are. Have a delightful, vibrant holiday. I am looking forward to hearing from you in the new year. PEACE, LOVE, and JOY to all! Rebecca

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

coconut oil for cooking
1 butternut squash
1 large onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 leeks, cleaned well, and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 garnet yam, peeled and cubed
1 fennel bulb, chopped
3 fingerling potatoes, chunked
1 can Thai coconut milk
1-2 tsp. curry powder
1-2 tsp. garam marsala
sea salt and pepper to taste
fresh squeezed lemon juice
 6-8 C chicken or vegetable stock
1 C dal, rinsed well
1 C orange lentils, rinsed well
1 C yellow dal, rinsed well
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can coconut milk
Squeeze of fresh lemon (optional)
1 to 2 bunches leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach, collards), washed, de-stemmed and chopped

1. Cut the butternut squash in half, de-seed, and rub with coconut oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender (the cooking time depends on the size of the squash). Remove when tender and set aside to cool.
2. In a large pot, melt 1 tbsp. coconut oil and start to saute the onion, until  caramelized, about 7- 10 minutes. Add the chopped leeks and continue to saute until very tender, then add the rest the vegetables and saute until all is tender and steamy.
3. Add the spices and saute a bit longer to incorporate and release their oils.
4. Add about 6-8 C stock, then add the lentils and dal. Stir well.
5. Scoop out the butternut squash and add the flesh to the lentils and dal. Mix well to combine. Simmer, slightly covered, until the mixture is tender to the bite. You will want to stir the dal occasionally while it is cooking. You may also need to add more stock as it cooks.
6. Add the rinsed, cooked garbanzo beans and the coconut milk. Stir in gently. I like to add a little fresh lemon juice for brightness.
7. Add the chopped kale and other greens if you like and mix incorporating all. Season to your taste with sea salt and pepper and more lemon juice if you so desire.
8. Serve over brown basmati rice and have a side of roasted, whole cashews to sprinkle on top. This fills the house with love!
9. This makes a large pot of soup so you may want to cut the recipe in half, but don't reduce the quantity of greens.

Parsnips can be steamed, boiled, baked, roasted, or sauteed. Parsnips are delicious with just butter, salt, and pepper. They can be stewed with other winter vegetables, added to potato puree, and made into a good soup. Parsnips are related to carrots, and they can be used in most carrot recipes to good effect. Since their flavor always dominates, use them only where you really want it. Good partners for parsnips are butter, brown butter, curry, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, mustard, ginger, parsley, thyme, tarragon, chives, onions, apples, and other root vegetables.

Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs. parsnips, peeled (optional), and chopped into even-sized pieces
2-3 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 tsp. curry powder
sea salt and fresh milled pepper
1/4 C yogurt
1/8 C apple-pear chutney (recipe follows)
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

1. Steam the parsnips until they are barely tender, about 7 minutes. Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a medium skillet. Add the onion , apples, and curry powder and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
2. Add the parsnips, season with sea salt and pepper, and cook 5  minutes more with an additional tablespoon of butter to help then brown.
3. Turn off the heat and pour in the yogurt, chutney, and cilantro and serve.

Makes about 2 cups

3 apples
2 pears
1 large quince, if available (optional)
1 C honey
1/2 C apple cider vinegar, unfiltered
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
5 cloves
10 peppercorns
several slices of ginger

1. Peel (optional-I like the skins on), core, and thinly slice the fruits.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Simmer each fruit separately in the syrup until transparent, about 15 minutes, then remove to a bowl or a clean glass jar (the quince will take the longest, if using).
3. When done, pour the syrup over all, cover and refrigerate. The chutney will  keep for several months.

Makes 4 servings

3/4 C plan yogurt
1/3 C apple cider vinegar, unfiltered
1/4 C apple juice or other juice
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. celery seed
6 C shredded red cabbage
2 carrots or beets, shredded (or a combination)
2 apples, diced
1/4 C minced onion
1/4 C minced dill, parsley, or chives

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vinegar, mayonnaise, sea salt, and celery seed.
2. Add the cabbage, carrots or beets (or both), apples, red onion, and fresh herbs, and toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate the slaw until well chilled at least 1 hour!

Makes 4 servings

2 bulbs fennel (about 1 pound each)
1/4 C water
4 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 cloves garlic, slivered
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut off the fennel stalks and discard*. Reserve and finely chop enough of the fronds to make 1/4 C and set aside. Cut the bulbs lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the water, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, and salt. Add sliced fennel and garlic, and toss until well coated. Transfer to a glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover with foil.
4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the fennel is tender. Sprinkle the reserved fronds over the fennel and serve with the pan juices.

*note from Debbie: I find that the fennel we've been getting lately are small and have tender, very edible stalks; if I slice through the stalk and it is green and juicy throughout, I'll use it. If it is hollow or dry, I will not. So in this recipe, if the stalks seem tender and juicy, I'd cut them into bite-sized pieces and include them in the mix!  

Serves 4-6

4 slices artisan bread, each about 1/2 inch thick
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 heads Romanesco cauliflower
3 tbsp. olive oil
sea salt
3/4 lb. whole wheat penne
1/4 C lemon juice
1/4 C fresh parsley leaves, chopped
3 tbsp. capers, drained
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and dry, about 30 minutes. Cut one of the cloves of garlic in half and rub toasted bread slices with them. Cool, then tear into chunks. Put in a food processor and process into coarse crumbs. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
2. Cut the cauliflower into quarters. Discard the leaves and cores and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick.
3. Mince the other garlic clove. Put cauliflower in a large baking pan and gently toss with olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and minced garlic. Roast, stirring after 10 minutes, until cauliflower is browned on the edges and tender when pierced, about 20 minutes.
3. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, or according to the package. Drain, reserving 1/2 C cooking liquid. Return pasta to the pot and add cauliflower, lemon juice, parsley, capers, red pepper flakes, and reserved cooking water. Stir in bread crumbs and cheese and serve at once.

Serves 6

for greens:
1 1/4 lbs. of leafy greens of choice, or a combination
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

for garlic dressing:
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine or sake
1 TBs,minced garlic
1 tsp. sweetener
1 tsp. hot chili paste (optional)
1. Combine ingredients for garlic dressing in a cup or small bowl and set aside.
2. Tear the stems from the greens and toss the leaves in the colander. Rinse thoroughly under cold water, drain, and set by the stove.
3. Heat a wok or large pot, add the oils, and heat to near smoking. Add the greens and toss lightly with a slotted spoon over high heat for about 1 minute. Add the garlic dressing and continue stir-frying about 30 seconds more, until the leaves are slightly wilted but still bright green. Scoop out the greens and sauce into a serving bowl. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.
This dish can be prepared in advance and served at room temperature. It is a delicious garnish for any meat, poultry, or seafood.

Serves 6

2 lbs. Romanesco cauliflower
3 tbsp. to 1/4 C soy sauce
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp. sweetener
1. Combine soy, lemon juice, garlic and sweetener in a cup or small bowl and set aside.
2. Using a sharp knife, cut away the stem ends of the cauliflwer. Cut off the florets on the diagonal into 1 1/2 inch thick sections. Separate the larger florets so they are all similar in size.
2. Arrange the cauliflwer in a steamer tray or on a plate set on a wire rack. Fill wok or pot with several inches of water and heat until boiling. Place the vegetable over the boiling water and steam for 8-10 minutes, or until tender.
3. Thoroughly drain cauliflower and place it in a bowl, pour dressing over all and toss well, then serve.

Serves 6-8

For chicken*:
2 lbs chicken breasts, boned, skinned, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C dry white wine
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
4 cloves garlic, 2 crushed, 2 minced
1 tbsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper, divided

For tzatziki sauce:
1/2 English cucumber, coarsely shredded
14 oz. plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp. distilled white vinegar

6-8 pita breads
1. Heat a BBQ grill to high. Mix chicken, olive oil, wine, lemon juice, oregano, crushed garlic, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Thread the chicken onto 8 skewers.
2. Grill the chicken , turning occasionally, until grill marks appear and meat is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.
3. To make the tzatziki sauce, cut the cucumber in a kitchen towel and wring out any excess water. Transfer to medium bowl. Add the yogurt, minced garlic, remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the vinegar and mix until combined.
4. Serve the chicken in warmed pita breads, topped with sauce.

*you could make this same recipe with lamb. Same marinade, same process as Rebecca describes (Rebecca doesn't eat red meat but some of us others do) ;-) Debbie

Debbie here again, with a recipe of my own I thought you might like! I made this last night - it was super simple and came out really well, so I'm passing it along:

Debbie's Cauliflower-Fennel Spaghetti Sauce
will serve 3 to 4

1 or 2 heads Romanesco cauliflower
2 to 3 fennel bulbs
one uncooked hot Italian sausage, or equivalent quantity of bulk sausage (I make my own)
1 jar Happy Girl Kitchen preserved tomatoes
Linguine pasta (although I call it "spaghetti" sauce I actually prefer linguine) ;-)

Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces; you can use most of the stem/core if you cut it into pieces too, just trim off the hard bottom end. You can *also* use the cauliflower leaves! They are delicious. Cut them into chunks and include!

Trim very bottom hard end of fennel bulbs and cut off fronds. Save fronds for another use or compost them. Slice bulb crosswise and chop tender stems (if the stems are hollow and whitish inside, don't use them, but if they're tender, juicy and green throughout - they're full of flavor!).

Start a pot of salted water to boil for your pasta. Heat some olive oil in a big heavy skillet (cast iron is great), squeeze sausage out of its casing (if in a casing) into hot pan and break apart with a wooden spoon and brown it. [My sausage has lots of garlic and spices in it; alternatively you could use some ground beef, a couple smashed/chopped cloves garlic, some fennel seed, crushed chilies, basil and salt.] Add fennel and cauliflower, stir to coat veggies with flavorful sausage bits and fat, turn heat to medium and cover about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the jar of tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon and mixing everything together well. Turn heat down a bit and cover again, so cauliflower and fennel cook through and become tender while your pasta boils (most pastas take about 10-12 minutes or so to boil; the cauliflower and fennel takes about 10-12 minutes to cook too - how convenient!). When the pasta is about done, test veggies for done-ness with the tip of a sharp knife (should pierce with no resistance). Remove lid and increase heat to reduce juices for a minute or two while you drain your pasta. Drain pasta and serve with cauliflower-fennel sauce; top with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese if you like (I love to drizzle everything with additional good olive oil too).

Cheers everyone! Have a happy new year and we'll be back in touch in January!
- Debbie

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