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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
6th Harvest Week, Winter Season 6
February 2nd, 2012
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
This Week's Preserve Option from Happy Girl Kitchen
Spring Awakening, Cider Pressing, and Ginormous Cauliflower
Be a Part of the Live Earth Farm Outreach Team!
Sheep To Shawl - Save the date!
Winter CSA Delivery Schedule
Basics of Cob Building Workshop at LEF
Don't forget our Web Store!
Rebecca's Recipes
2011/12 Winter Calendar

"Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another."
- Juvenal, from "Grace from the Garden" by Debra Landwehr Engle

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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
Brussels sprouts or broccoli/broccolini
Green cabbage
Romanesco cauliflower
Lacinato kale
Red Russian kale
Red onions (Pinnacle Organic)
Japanese turnips
Crushed dry-farmed tomatoes (will be inside your box) 


Regular (Medium) Share
Green cabbage
Romanesco cauliflower
Red Russian kale
Red onions (Pinnacle Organic)
Crushed dry-farmed tomatoes (will be inside your box)   


Budget (Small) Share
Romanesco cauliflower
Crushed dry-farmed tomatoes (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 - Dilly Beans, Garden Bouquet
(see below for descriptions) 


Winter Pasture-raised Chickens
There is one remaining chicken delivery to the Winter season: Week 8 (Feb 16)

This Week's Preserve Option from Happy Girl Kitchen
Dilly Beans: Made with Live Earth's own Blue Lake green beans, enjoy this crunchy summer treat all year long. Try using the dilly beans to brighten up a salad, spice up a glass of tomato juice, or just eat them on their own - they're that good! All organic ingredients include green beans, filtered water, apple cider vinegar, dill, spices, and sea salt.

Garden Bouquet: A brilliant mixture of produce fresh from the fields, with cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, and beets this pickle will enliven any platter.

Spring Awakening, Cider Pressing, and Ginormous Cauliflower
In the Celtic tradition people observe the midway point between winter solstice and spring equinox, known as Imbolc or Brigid's day to celebrate the awakening of the land and the growing power of the sun.  This year that day in the northern hemisphere is this week on the 1st of February.

Wild plum tree, first buds and blossomSigns of awakening can be felt and observed throughout the farm.  The first flower buds on a wild plum tree are starting to swell and break open. Like a japanese cherry tree, in a couple of weeks it will be draped in beautiful white blossoms. In our orchards, the Santa Rosa Plums and Blenheim Apricots will be next. I always cross my fingers and hope that their early bloom coincides with dry weather to ensure a good fruit set.
These changes are not limited to the plant kingdom: with noticeably more daylight, the chickens have  started to lay more eggs, and the unusually warm weather has also triggered us humans' irresistible desire to work the land. Once again it's time to engage in nature's fertile embrace, to follow her seasonal dance, paying attention to the unique conditions each season offers to grow and harvest her flavors and bountiful gifts.

The timing of this dance is always tricky, especially with today's increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. This time of year the soils should be saturated from winter rains; instead, they are dry enough for us to prepare the fields earlier than I can ever remember. Just before the last replenishing rains a couple weeks ago conditions were ideal for getting in an early planting of lettuce and broccoli and shaping enough beds to sow a crop of spinach, peas, carrots, radishes, cilantro, arugula and Asian mustard greens. In the past, February has always been wet, yet this year the extended forecast continues to be dry. At first glance it seems like a plus, because this will allow us to stay on schedule with our plantings and will make winter harvesting easier. However I am still very concerned about the lack of replenishing winter rain, which is essential to the long-term health of the State's entire biotic environment.  

Joint Live Earth and Happy Girl Kitchen Apple Cider Pressing 

During that much-needed rain event a couple of weeks ago (and under the protective cover of our redwood barn), folks from Live Earth Farm and Happy Girl Kitchen decided to experiment with pressing fresh cider from our cold storage apples (a mix of Gala, Fuji and Pippins). The joint effort took two days, and employed our new crusher - which quickly made boatloads of apple mash - and Happy Girl Kitchen's large press, to extract many gallons of delicious fresh cider. Not only was this fun, but it was quite the learning experience; it felt rewarding to jointly engage our two operations in this mutually supportive process of transforming the bounty of our fields into a delicious new, potentially value-added product for our community. I say potentially, because we are new to this at this production level, and have to research the food safety side of things before offering it to our members. Should we ferment it? Does it need pasteurization? That sort of thing. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures to tell the story.

LEF and HGK join forces to press apples into juice
From top: Subhadra from Sweden drops apples into the crusher; Tom and Jordan taste the first batch of juice; Tom cranks the press; Jordan strains some juice; Roger pours into jars... and Jaya, Jordan's daughter, heads out into the rain and puddles to play after catching a few winks on the sidelines during the thick of things.  

How did the Romanesco Cauliflower get so big??  

Romanesco Cauliflower is one of my favorite winter crops. Nor only does it taste amazing, but its chartreuse green coloring is unique amongst the crops we grow and its geometric fractal pattern is a natural piece of art (look closely; have your kids pull out their magnifying glasses and they will see that the pattern of geometric shapes repeats on down to smaller than can be seen with the naked eye). You may have noticed how the Romanescoes in your December shares were small, but then more recently they have been huge. This difference was due to two separate plantings which were treated differently. In the first planting, the plants were spaced closer together in double rows (i.e. two rows per bed). In the second planting (different field), we used single-row spacing to allow us better weed control with a tractor-mounted cultivator. With more space between plants, less weed competition and a compost-rich soil,
Giant head of Romanesco cauliflower
CSA member Mark Stevens holds a truly colossal head of Romanesco cauliflower. No, this image was not photoshopped!
the result was beautiful vigorous cauliflower plants and correspondingly large heads. Theoretically we could have harvested them earlier to control their size, but they started maturing during the CSA's winter break, and this gave them even more time to size up.

- Tom 

Be a Part of the Live Earth Farm Outreach Team!
Hello Live Earth friends, family and members!

We need YOUR help! It's that time of year again to start thinking ahead towards the start of the regular season (you can taste the strawberries coming, right?!). Our 17th growing season is right around the corner and we still have plenty of space available, so we are looking for 200 more member sign-ups by the beginning of April to kick off the 2012 Regular Season. Live Earth Farm is hoping to spread the word about our CSA with your help! We are looking within our community for help distributing brochures or posting flyers about the CSA in your neighborhood, school, local business or workplace. This farm could not exist without the love and support from the people whom our food touches. Here are some of the ways you can help spread the word about our CSA:

- Post flyers on your workplace bulletin board
- Distribute brochures to friends, family and coworkers
- Request an e-mail write-up to forward on through your neighborhood community list-serve or workplace email system

***The more people in your area that sign-up the better! If 10 - 15 people sign up at your workplace or within your community, we can set up a new drop site and deliver directly to a convenient area near you!***

What to do from here? Contact me (Taylor Brady) at liveearthfarmshop@gmail.com if you would like to take part in our membership outreach efforts. I would be happy to send you an outreach materials package.

Thank you again to all our friends and members who tirelessly support Live Earth Farm. We really appreciate it! 
Taylor Brady, LEF Marketing Coordinator, holding our
Live Earth Farm Marketing Coordinator

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!

Winter CSA Delivery Schedule
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! Also, our full newsletter will only be on 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.

Basics of Cob Building Workshop at LEF
Spend 3 days learning everything about COB BUILDING at Live Earth Farm with Claudine Desiree of Cruzin' Cob. We will be building a creative seating/eating area for LEF's large community pizza oven, which we will also be remodeling with a new sculpture and plaster finish. Bring your wildest ideas for a new sculpture on the cob oven too! Each day there will be 3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of hands-on work, split into two parts by a delicious organic lunch. You will learn everything you need to know to start your own cob project from siting, foundation, making cob (day 1) to walls, windows and doors (day 2) and plastering, sculpting, arches (day 3).  Make sure to bring a a soil sample (in mason jar filled with water) from your land as well as sketches, ideas and questions about your future project(s). Wear working clothes that can get wet and "dirt-y"; also bring a hat, a water bottle and, if you can, gloves and a plastering metal trowel.

Cost: $225, includes delicious, organic lunch each day. Some work exchange spots available. Kids (10-18) are half-price if attending with an adult.
When: Feb 18, 19 & 20 - 10am to 5pm each day
Where: Live Earth Farm, "Litchfield Entrance" (directions)
To sign up: go to the "workshops" page of Claludine's website at www.cruzincob.com (scroll down page to second workshop) or call her at (831) 419-8107.

Don't forget our Web Store!
If you haven't visited lately, you should -- Taylor works diligently to bring you a wide variety of locally produced and artisanal items, not to mention "extras" of our own most popular seasonal produce: right now you can get extra Brussels Sprouts, crisp, sweet Fuji apples and tart, crunchy Pippins. What about a gift certificate for a 4-week trial of a CSA share? We have a "Regular" and a "Deluxe" option (Deluxe includes eggs and extra fruit). They make great wedding gifts! Birthday gifts! You-name-it gifts! There are also olive oils, coffees, honeys, jams and preserves... even locally harvested sea salt (from Monterey bay!).

Keep an eye out for Taylor's weekly email citing "what's new in the web store this week". Shop anytime between Saturday and Monday for delivery on Thursday, right to your CSA pick-up site. Easy-peasy!

Webstore screen capture

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 again - I have several new recipes for you this week; hope you enjoy! As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to email me.
Chef Rebecca
[click here to email Rebecca]

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

Serves 12 (recipe can be halved, however leftovers are even more flavorful the next day)

Cauliflower resembles couscous when finely chopped. It is a great nutrient-dense, low calorie substitute for grains, especially for someone losing weight. Ras-el-hanout is a Moroccan spice mixture that can have up to 30 spices. This streamlined version contains spices that are thermogenic, stimulating, metabolism- and fat-burning.

1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground anise seeds
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
(You can also purchase ready mixed Ras-el hanout at the store.)

1 C garbanzo beans, soaked overnight
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, quartered
4 carrots, cut diagonally
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C vegetable stock
1/2 C frozen peas
3/4 C cilantro, minced

1 tbsp. red palm oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 heads Romanesco, stalks and stems removed, cut into florets
1 tsp. tumeric powder
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Drain the beans and place in a pot. Cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside. You can also cook them in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile combine all the ingredients for the Ras-el-hanout and set aside. To prepare the cauliflower, place raw florets in a food processor and pulse until finely ground to the size of couscous.
3. In a wide, heavy saute pan over medium heat, add the coconut oil and leeks. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and saute for another few minutes. Add the carrots and garlic and saute for another minute. Season with salt.
4. Add 2 tbsp. of the Ras-el-hanout and stir to combine. Deglaze the pan with the stock. Turn up the heat and allow the stock to reduce.  When the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thickened, stir in the garbanzo beans and peas. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
5. Transfer to a bowl and toss in half the cilantro. Cover and set aside.
6. Rinse the pan the vegetables were cooked in and return to the stove and turn on medium heat.  Add the red palm oil and onion and saute until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
7. Add the cauliflower and saute for a few minutes. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the cauliflower is tender, but not mushy. Uncover the pan, stir in the turmeric, and season to taste with salt. Allow the cauliflower to brown a little then turn off the heat.
8. Add the remaining cilantro to the cauliflower and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and pile the vegetable mixture on top. Serve!
9. You can add dried currants and pistachios to the vegetable mixture for even more deliciousness.

This is a modernized version of an 18th century recipe.

1. Boil 1 pound of carrots, drain and mash them. Add the juice from 1 orange, the yolks of 2 eggs, and enough breadcrumbs to bind the mixture. Then fold in the whipped whites of the eggs.
2. Have a little oil in the pan. When it is hot enough, mould the mixture with  your fingers into round puffs the size of ping-pong balls. Drop these into the oil and roll them in the pan until they are crisp and brown on the outside (they should be crunchy on the outside and light in the center). Place them on a dish and serve at once.

Serves 4

2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 oz. ginger root, grated
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 red chili pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 tbsp. each: crushed cumin seeds, cardamom and coriander
1 pound chard, leaves torn and stalks chopped (keep them separate)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp sweetener
1 tbsp. curry powder (optional or to taste)

1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the ginger, garlic, chili, spices and chopped chard stalks. Stir-fry until the spices darken and the garlic browns; by then the stalks should be softened.
2. Now add the torn leaves and stir-fry rapidly for about 30 seconds. Add the salt and sweetener, stirring again, then tip the contents into a salad bowl, sprinkle with the curry and serve immediately.

makes 12 large servings
You can substitute any meat you like for this recipe. This recipe was inspired by a traditional Lakota Buffalo Stew.

2 lbs. buffalo stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided
3 tbsp. butter
4 small onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 bay leaves
2 C chicken stock
4 tbsp. arrowroot
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 large turnips, peeled and medium dice
4 stalks celery, sliced into half moons
1/2 C chopped parsley  
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Sprinkle the buffalo meat with 1 tsp. salt and set aside.
3. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the butter. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove from the pan and set aside in a medium bowl.
4. Add the onions and a pinch of salt to the pot. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the chicken stock, arrowroot, black pepper and browned meat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, place in the oven and cook for 1 hour.
6. Remove stew from the oven and add the turnips, carrots and celery. Stir to combine. Cover, return to the oven and cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until the turnips are tender.
7. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh parsley and serve.
8. You could also add some Yellow Finn potatoes to the stew when you are adding the turnips.

Serves 6
The lemon and ginger in this refreshing beverage aid in digestion and detoxification.

3 C water
7 slices ginger root
3 dates, pitted and halved
zest and juice from 2 lemons
1/2 bottle natural sparkling mineral water, chilled
mint for garnish

1. Add the water, ginger, dates, and lemon peel to a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Strain the liquid into a bowl and allow to cool completely. Reserve the dates for another use.
3. Once the liquid has cooled, add the lemon juice and sparkling water. Add the water a little at a time and keep tasting until it has reached the desired flavor, depending on desired strength. Put a mint sprig at the bottom of each glass and pour in the spritzer. Serve.

Serves 6
A delicious low-glycemic alternative to mashed potatoes. Garlic, oregano, and thyme add powerful anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties.

1 small bulb garlic
1 head Romanesco cauliflower, chopped into small florets
2 medium turnips, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 -3 parsnips (optional; add if you have some left from last week!)
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
sea salt and pepper to taste
ghee or butter, if desired

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the garlic bulb in parchment paper and roast for 30-40 minutes.
2. Place the cauliflower, turnips, and parsnips (if using) in a steamer and steam until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes. It is fine if the cauliflower is softer than the other vegetables.
3. Transfer steamed vegetables into a medium pot. When the garlic is roasted, squeeze softened cloves out of the bulb into the pot. Add the oregano, thyme salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth (i.e. mashed potato consistency). For a chunkier mash, use a potato masher. Add more oregano or thyme if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. For added creaminess and flavor, add a few tbsp. ghee or butter when mashing.

Yes, I know this is yet another carrot soup recipe, but I was playing around with some leftover carrots the other night and made this and loved it so much I just had to include it -- it is just so yummy and comforting!

Serves 4-6
This recipe is very versatile! Thin it with broth when pureeing and it is a soup. Leave it thick and creamy and it makes a great pasta sauce. You can also serve it over other roasted veggies - or use it as a dip for crudites or breadsticks or whatever you like!

1 large bunch of carrots, cut into quarters
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large shallot, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger (or to taste)
1 large leek, cleaned and sliced into half moons
stock of choice (I like to use organic low-sodium chicken stock)
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Place carrots and onions in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle liberally with olive oil. Add a few sprinkles of Balsamic vinegar. Mix well to coat .
2. Spread veggies evenly out on a baking sheet.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the carrots are very tender, about 40 minutes. You want the carrots to have a slight browness.
4. Meanwhile heat a soup pot over medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Add the leek and saute until wilted and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Add the shallot and continue to saute for another few minutes.
5. When the the carrots and onions are done, add them to the soup pot and sprinkle in the minced ginger. Add enough stock to just cover the vegetables by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, until the carrots become even more tender, about 10 minutes or so. You also want the ginger to infuse the mixture.
6. When the carrots are done, use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. (You can also puree in a regular blender.) Adjust consistency as desired with additional stock.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.

6-8 apples, cored and quartered
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
ground cinnamon to taste
freshly ground nutmeg to taste
pinch of ground allspice

1. Place apple pieces in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse until you reach the desired consistency - chunky or smooth.
2. Add spices, lemon juice and zest. Pulse to combine thoroughly. Check for flavor and adjust to suit your taste buds. Sometimes I add a little vanilla or a pinch of sea salt to heighten the flavors. Heat and serve warm, leave at room temperature, or serve chilled. This makes a lovely side dish for roasted chicken and is also great as a snack. It is easy and refreshing, and a great way to use some of the apples that aren't as crisp as when you first got them. Hope you enjoy!

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