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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
13th Harvest Week, Season 17
June 25th - July 1st, 2012
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
There's a reason it's called "Tradition"
On-Farm Education and Discovery
Art on the Farm FUN!
LEFDP 4th Annual Fundraiser Dinner - Dig!
Rebecca's Recipes
2012 Calendar

" Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives."
- Thomas Berry

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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 which are part of your share, like strawberries, are packed outside your box. Quantity to take 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
Arugula (maybe)
Napa cabbage
Summer squash or pickling cucumbers

Regular (Medium) Share
Arugula (maybe)
Napa cabbage
Summer squash or pickling cucumbers

Budget (Small) Share
Arugula (maybe)
Napa cabbage


Bread Option
This week's bread will be whole wheat with pumpkin seeds

Extra Fruit Option


There's a reason it's called "Tradition"
Welcome Circle at the 2012 Summer Solstice CelebrationThe traditional Welcome Circle at our Solstice Celebration is always special, because it gives meaning to everything Live Earth Farm stands for: a deep bond with nature, where food is the common link that nurtures our health, our environment and our community. Last Saturday, four long potluck tables were loaded with dishes to be shared. Like in all cultures around the world, this gesture - the sharing of a meal - enriches our sense of community; it celebrates and brings joy and beauty to relationships, as well as a more meaningful connection to the earth under our feet. It was a moment of gratitude for the generosity of the land, it's people, and the power and grace of what sustains our lives, and the miracle of sunshine, water, soil, seed and air contributing to what becomes our food.

The Summer Solstice celebration was abuzz in activities, with something for everyone to do. Whether it was dipping u-picked strawberries into chocolate ganache donated by "The Buttery", tractor hayrides with me around the fields, or milking goats and making cheese with Laura, fun was had by all. We were happy to see our neighbor Susan, a local painter and owner of Susun Art Gallery, come by to inspire the kids with art projects, while our son David coordinated an all-hands-on creative bread baking session in the farm's wood-fired cob-oven. The hay fort was as always a popular hangout for kids, especially this year, thanks to the fun design Dale (the farm's builder and craftsman) came up with.  Unlike last year, the day was pretty warm, so ice cream-making with a hand-cranked ice cream maker was very popular.
 Solstice 2012 activites, people
It was a fine day to come and just relax, or leisurely explore the farm, visiting the children's garden, fruit orchards, redwood barn, the pasture-raised chickens, baby goats, or hedgerow plantings.  Music accompanied us throughout the day. In the early afternoon, "Mountain Folk", a local band (two of it's members are Roger, the Discovery program's Farm & Garden assistant, and Brian Smith, a longtime CSA member), entertained us with lively folk-music. Later in the day, as has been a tradition for at least 10 years, Kuzanga played their wonderful Zimbabwean marimba rhythms by the fire circle. This year I passed the baton for starting the bonfire to our son David, and some of the children, as is customary, helped him light it. Kuzanga's music always makes people dance, and so it accompanied the fire until darkness settled in.  For a special treat Linnea Beckett returned to honor us with her graceful fire dance. Linnea apprenticed here 8 years ago, and brought the art of fire dancing with her to the farm. Linnea Beckett firedancingTo our surprise, David and longtime member Azalyne were inspired to add to the magic by accompanying her.  We let the land weave its magic and revitalize and nourish our bodies and spirits as we embraced the coming of summer. Many thanks to all who participated, and helped to make this another great celebration.

- Tom

On-Farm Education and Discovery
During one of the farm tours at the Solstice Celebration a boy, his mouth stained with blackberries, tugged on my arm to show me his harvest: a cupped hand filled with shiny black juicy berries. When I asked him if I could try one, he held out his hand out and said, "Farmer Tom, I wish I could stay and live here." Hearing that, at that moment, felt so reassuring. It speaks to why we farm: to give people, especially children, a direct experience with the source of their food - i.e. that experience of being able to feel the soil with their own hands, harvest and taste the bounty of the land directly where it's growing, and to learn how food can be beautiful, tasty, and nourishing. For the last four years, LEF's Discovery Program has transformed the farm into a unique education and community resource, offering programs and events to over a thousand children every year so that they can experience this direct connection with the farm, engaging in the many nourishing food cycles unfolding throughout the seasons. Child petting goat at an LEFDP farm visitWith the start of the summer season, last week the Discovery Program hosted the first of several camps (see article below); the laughter and presence of children on the farm was a joyful distraction amidst our busy farm schedules.

Now I know you're thinking, "this is great - how can I help see that this sort of on-farm education continues?" Well, one 'delicious' way to do so is to come to the Discovery Program's Annual Fundraiser Dinner on September 22nd. We invite you to join us for this not-to-be-missed, in-the-field Culinary Extravaganza. Not only will it be an opportunity to experience the farm at it's full-on-Summer-Bounty finest, but also the money raised will directly support programs that bring children to the farm; an unforgettable celebration for the senses that also benefits the Discovery Program's education and community efforts. Hope you all can join us! (See announcement below.)

- Tom

Art on the Farm FUN!
LEFDP logo, purple background                                     
"One, two, three, eyes on me!" a common, but not too common refrain during the wild farm rumpus that was Art on the Farm Camp.  On Friday we finished an amazing week of camp with 17 wonderful 6-12 year olds and 4 teen Leaders in Training. When the parents joined us on the farm on Friday afternoon we had lavender cookies, herb goat cheese, strawberry ice cream and blackberry sorbet all hand made by campers to share in thanks for a fabulously fun week. We sat in a circle with the campers on the inside and the parents surrounding them to share our favorite projects of the week and bask in the glory of completion. Vinegar pickles we made on the very first day were the overall favorite project of the week. The enthusiasm for this first project is probably due to the excitement of tasting hand harvested, cut, flavored and pickled creations. The unique labels they designed to mark their jars looked really great too!

Another favorite project was the Plaster of Paris masks we made Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. This project, which requires patience and lying still, falls at the perfect moment when the campers young bodies are well worn out from the first two and half days of planting, harvesting, making art and playing in the sun. They could not have spent another afternoon planting corn, beans, and squash with Farmer Tom, if the looks on their faces Tuesday afternoon were any indication.  The campers were delightedly tired after planting one whole "3 Sisters" bed just below the education barn in fields that last year held tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.  I hope they come back to visit the glory of this field in the fall, so they can appreciate the abundance that their cooperative work will yield.  We will definitely save some popcorn for next year's campers to enjoy!
Scenes from Art on the Farm Summer Camp 2012
We are running one more session of camp this summer July 16-20.  Some of our June campers are coming back for more fun and new projects.  A great portion of this year's campers knew well the farm fields and friends they made at last year's camp.  We are so pleased to be creating a tradition of work and play in fields and kitchen, bringing our campers a greater understanding of how to bring food from seed to table through loving effort.  There is still space in the July session, so don't hesitate to claim a space in this wonderful program. (If you need financial assistance, some is available. Please contact Grace, our new Education Program Coordinator, at lefeducation@baymoon.com).

And as I wrap this up, I will tantalize you with what is coming in the next newsletter... we will introduce you to Grace, a lovely, local lady who has graced us with her presence to run the many programs that make LEFDP great! We will also share more information about "Dig!" - our 4th annual farm fresh food in the fields fundraising event for LEFDP on September 22nd. Below is just a teaser about it. Stay tuned!

- Jessica Ridgeway, Director, Live Earth Farm Discovery Program

You can find more information about all of LEFDP's programs at www.liveearthfarm.net/learn.aspx or on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/LEFDP

LEFDP 4th Annual Fundraiser Dinner - Dig!
Fourth Annual LEFDP Fundraiser Dinner Flyer
for more information:
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?"]  


Greeting to everyone on this glorious day! Have you been enjoying all the wonderful produce we have been receiving from the farm? Since the weather has been so nice I am wanting to eat lighter and am fixing lots of different salads. It is such a delight as a chef. I am in my element; it is a big "candy store" for me! My refrigerator is full of abundance just waiting for a new creation. I hope you are having as much fun as I am! This beautiful food is giving our precious bodies and cells a bounty of nutrition and vibrance. Savor these beautiful days filled with amazing gifts! Please let me know how you are feeling about the recipes. If you have any to share, course, suggestions are always welcome! Blessings and gratitude, Rebecca [email Rebecca]

[Rebecca Mastoris is a chef/teacher at Bauman College, and a partner in Vibrant Foods Catering along with Karen Haralson. Both Karen and Rebecca teach cooking classes at the farm and in town locally - see our 2012 Calendar, below.]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

First, here are some recipes I've run before which would be well made with what's in this week's boxes:

PAPAS BRAVAS (for potatoes)
CHOPPED MISO SALAD (uses Napa cabbage)
ROASTED CARROT SOUP/PASTA SAUCE/DIP (I made this for the cooking class at Williams-Sonoma last Sunday and it was very popular. Garnish it with thinly sliced fresh basil from this week's box - yum!)

And then here are some new recipes:

Serves 12
Squash is low in calories and high in nutrients. Here, it presented in paper thin-slices. The lemon vinaigrette is cleansing and the ricotta cheese adds a tang and healthy fat to the salad, which is necessary for satiety.

4 medium squash, thinly sliced with a mandoline or sharp vegetable peeler
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
1/4 c. olive oil
sea salt and pepper tot taste
6 cups of lettuce greens, chopped to bite-size
3/4 c. sprouts of choice (optional)
1/2 ricotta salata cheese, coarsely chopped
6 whole nasturtium blossoms, for garnish, (optional)

1. place the sliced squash in a strainer over a bowl and toss with salt. Let sit, mixing the squash around once or twice, for about 20 minutes. When wilted, rinse under fresh water and place on a clean towel. Roll up the towel and gently squeeze the excess water from the zucchini.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust flavors if necessary. Set aside. Whisk again before tossing the salad.
3. Place the squash in a medium bowl and and toss with 3-4 Tbs. of the vinaigrette. Set aside.
4. Combine the lettuce, 1/2 c. of the sprouts, and cheese in a large bowl. Toss with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the greens.
5. Lay the squash slices on a large platter in 1 layer. Top with the salad mixture and garnish  with the remaining sprouts and nasturtiums.

Serves 4
This recipe comes from Rebecca Katz's cookbook "One Bite at a Time," which is a wonderful collection of brilliant recipes focused on people with cancer. It is an amazing health-supportive book with delicious recipes, full of flavor and color.

1 bunch broccoli
sea salt
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 c. diced tomatoes or red pepper
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 c. fresh basil, finely chopped

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the broccoli florets off the stalks, then peel the stems (if needed) and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Add a pinch of salt and the broccoli florets and stems to the pot of water and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain the broccoli, then run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. This will retain its lush green color.
2. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds, just until aromatic. Add the bell pepper or tomatoes and a pinch of salt and saute for an additional minute. Stir in the broccoli and 1/4 tsp. of salt and saute for 2 minutes; the broccoli should be firm. Gently stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and basil and serve immediately.

Serves 4
Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice with a pleasantly sour and rather astringent flavor, but without the sharpness of either vinegar or lemon juice. It is mixed with yogurt and herbs to make a light refreshing sauce. This spice was used by the Romans before lemons reached Europe for its fruity sourness. If you don't have sumac you can use any spice you like-curry goes well with this dish.

1 c. dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/2 c. olive oil
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
2 tomatoes
1 tsp. sweetener of choice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 bunches chard
3 Tbs. fresh chopped mint
2-3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbs. ground sumac

1. Put chickpeas in a large bowl with water and soak overnight. Drain and place in a large sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for about 1 3/4 hours. Drain when tender and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan, add the onion and cook on low heat about 5 minutes or until softened and starting to turn brown.
3. Cut the tomatoes in half and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon, then dice the flesh. Add the tomato flesh to the onions with the sweetener, cinnamon, and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
4. Wash the chard and pat dry. Trim the stems and finely shred the leaves.
5. Add to the tomato mixture with the chickpeas and cook 3-4 minutes until the chard starts to wilt. Add the mint, lemon juice, and sumac. Season and cook for 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Thanks New leaf for this yummy, healthy recipe - I love it! Hope you all enjoy too!

2 c. beets, grated
1 1/2 c. quinoa, cooked and cooled
3/4 c. toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 c. onion, minced
1/2 c. flour of choice
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. olive oil
3 Tbs. parsley minced
4 cloves
garlic minced
3 Tbs. Tamari
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 lb. garnet yams, steamed and cooled (I use the purple potatoes instead of the yams)
sea salt to taste

1. Peel the yams  (you don't need to peel the potatoes). Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Press tightly into uniform patties. Bake at 350 degrees  on parchment lined sheet pan in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Calendar2012 2012 CALENDAR
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!

LEF Discovery Program "Wee Ones"
3rd Tuesday of every month, 10:30am - Noon [Apr-Nov, weather permitting]
($10 - $15 per family)
Mothers, fathers, grandparents, caretakers of any kind... bring the babe in your arms [0-3yrs] 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.

New! LEF Discovery Program "Small Farmers" 
2nd Wednesday of every month, 10:30am - Noon [Apr-Nov, weather permitting]
($10 - $15 per family)
Similar to our Wee Ones program, above, only designed for 3-6 year olds. 

LEF Discovery Program "Art at the Farm" Summer Camp!
Enroll your child in an art and adventure-filled week-long day camp at Live Earth Farm. Designed for kids age 6-12 yrs. Is your child 13 or older yet interested in getting involved? They may be a candidate for becoming a Leader in Training! Click here for all camp details on our website. (note that if Firefox is your browser, this link behaves oddly and you may need to scroll up on the page to locate the 'Art on the Farm' details.)
Session 1: June 18-22
Session 2: July 16-20

LEF Discovery Program Annual Fundraiser
Sept 22nd - Save the date... more info to come as the date approaches!

Community Farm Days and Events

We've set aside the dates (so you should too!), and will fill you in on what we're going to do as their time draws nearer. Stay tuned!

Apr 28 - cancelled
May 26 - Strawberries!
Jun 30 - TBA
July 28 - TBA
Aug 25 - TBA
Sep 29 - TBA    



As anyone who's attended them in the past will tell you, our farm celebrations are not to be missed! Chock full of activities, farm tours, music, always a pot-luck and bonfire... bring the entire family and enjoy!

<> June 16 - Summer Solstice Celebration (click here for a youtube video of 2009's!)
<> October 20 - Fall Harvest Celebration

Happy Girl Kitchen Workshops at LEF

All workshops include an organic lunch, as well as take-home items from what is made that day -- these workshops are not to be missed!

Apr 15 - Cheesemaking
May 20 - Whole Foods workshop with Stephanie Stein
Jun 9 [Sat] - Cherries & Apricots
Jun 10 [Sun] - Cherries & Apricots    

Jul 28 [Sat] - Pickles!
Jul 29 [Sun] - Pickles!
Aug 11 [Sat] - Tomatoes!
Aug 12 [Sun] - Tomatoes!    


"Cooking-from-your-box" classes in Los Gatos

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
(This newsletter is edited and organized by Debbie Palmer, former LEF CSA coordinator.)