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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
25th Harvest Week, Season 17
September 17th - 23rd, 2012
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
Farm Tour Season Begins!
Ground Swell - short video about the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program
Last Call for Dig!
Summer to Fall - When Seasons Collide
Companion Bakeshop Baking Workshops
Rebecca's Recipes
2012 Calendar

"Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
- John Muir

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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
Green beans
Padron peppers
Sweet peppers
Dry-farmed tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes

Regular (Medium) Share
Green beans
Red onions
Summer squash
Sweet peppers
Dry-farmed tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes

Budget (Small) Share
Red onions
Padron peppers
Sweet peppers
Dry-farmed tomatoes

Bread Option
This week's bread will be three-seed whole wheat with pumpkin seeds (yum!)

Extra Fruit Option
Gala apples, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, and raspberries


  gala apples galore! 

Heirloom tomatoes!  


Farm Tour Season Begins!  LEFDP logo
Stanford University, Ann Soldo Elementary kick off tour season.                                     
We are off to a busy week in the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program!  We had an amazing time with the "SPOT-lets" (Stanford Pre-Orientation Tour).  We had ten wonderful incoming freshmen and two enthusiastic leaders who are sophomores at Stanford stay with us for four nights. The SPOT-lets helped us prepare for the fundraiser and with general needs around the farm by cleaning out the goat pen, moving hay bales, prepping the Discovery Garden, and picking and cleaning apples.  But the biggest help they gave us was assisting Jessica and Grace with our first school tour of the season!

Two third-grade classes from Ann Soldo arrived at the lower barn on Monday morning for a tour filled with apple picking, goat milking, scavenger hunting, cider making and relay races. The SPOT-lets helped out at four of the stations, allowing the third graders to get an in-depth appreciation of the farm. Jessica and Grace have implemented a new curriculum which includes nutrition and history of the valley, and so Monday's third graders were the first to experience it.  One of the teachers on the tour filled out a feedback form and wrote that the best thing about the tour was that "the knowledgeable staff at the stations were outgoing and positive with the students."  When the SPOT-lets read that statement, their eyes lit up. It was amazing to see students teaching students.
Ann Soldo Elementary third graders visit LEF
We are proud to announce that we are able to offer free transportation to eight classes at Ann Soldo this fall! That is almost 250 kids that will get to experience the wonders of the farm thanks to generous donations from members of our community. This Monday's visit was the first time that classes from Ann Soldo have been able to come to Live Earth Farm. A large proportion of the student body receives free and reduced cost lunches, and many parents work in the agricultural sector. We believe it is important to show these kids what an honorable accomplishment it is to be a farmer, and to help them discover the wonders of their community!

Jessica Ridgeway, Director - LEFDPDirector@gmail.com or
Grace Chollar-Webb, Program Coordinator - LEFDPeducation@gmail.com
Live Earth Farm Discovery Program
Seed to Mouth, Farm to Fork, Child to Community Connections

Ground Swell - short video about the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program
Long-time CSA member and LEFDP board member Tera Martin produced this wonderful short movie about the Discovery Program. Please take a moment and enjoy!

ground swell : the live earth farm discovery program
ground swell : the live earth farm discovery program

Last Call for Dig!
LEFDP Fundraiser Please come help us fundraise and celebrate so that we can allow more schools like Ann Soldo (see above) to come to the farm next year. Enjoy local wines and four delicious courses prepared by chefs from the Bay Area. There will be live music, a silent auction and a children's program with pizza making and cider pressing! Thursday, September 20th is your last day to buy tickets, hope to see you there!

When: Saturday September 22nd, 4 - 8pm
Where: at the farm (click for directions)
How Much: $150 per adult; children's program $25 
Why: your donation will directly help support farm visits, transportation costs and garden supplies for the 1500 students who will visit the farm in 2012.
How do I get tickets? You can by them directly from our website by clicking here, or call LEFDP or email Jessica (see below).

for more information:

Summer to Fall - When Seasons Collide
We are now officially in our last week of Summer. September 21st marks the Autumn Equinox, and the beginning of fall. It is an odd time of seasonal overlap; we are reaching the peak of the Summer season harvest-wise, yet the foliage on plum trees and native poison oak is changing to red, the daily number of eggs collected are dropping and pumpkins are turning orange. Everyone working on the farm has turned into an "acrobat" juggling a larger number of tasks than usual. Nothing is more telling of this seasonal transition, however, than when we are fully immersed in our apple harvest. Ann Soldo Elementary third graders visit LEF Trees hang heavy with beautiful green, yellow, orange, and red, apples. Gala's are at their peak of ripeness. Harvest bins line the orchard floor, some empty, others filled to the brim. Filled bins are hauled out - some get sorted and washed for immediate use, while others go into cold storage to be sorted and processed later.

Everyone visiting the farm loves the experience of picking and eating apples directly from the trees or using the farm's cider press to crush and press the freshly harvested apples into delicious sweet cider. Few experiences are more satisfying to me than biting into a fully tree-ripened apple; it is yet another pleasure of experiencing our relationship with the nourishing cycle of nature. If you're not a farmer though, you probably are not aware of what all goes into producing that sweet, crisp fruit. An apple orchard needs year-round attention, and the perennial cycle is very different from the annual, season-focused vegetable crops we grow. Apples lean heavily on human help and it takes a lot of devotion, from winter pruning through post-harvest cleanup in late Fall.

Apples thrive in our climate. One wouldn't think by driving through the Pajaro Valley that this was once one of the largest apple growing districts in the country. Most of the apple orchards have been pushed over by bulldozers, replaced by the more lucrative berry, vegetable and flower crops. The predominant variety then was the Newtown Pippin, a variety originally from New York, introduced by settlers in the 1850s. Today it is still the trademark apple in Martinelli's popular apple juice, processed here in Watsonville, and probably the reason why Newton Pippins are still grown commercially in this area.
Workers picking apples at LEF
Here on the farm we grow approximately 7 acres of apples, mostly Fuji, Gala, Sommerfeld and a few Newton Pippins. Starting in winter, the dormant season, trees first have to be pruned, and then sprayed with oils or sulphur before and after budbreak to fend of insect and fungal diseases. Pheromone wires have to be tied to the trees at a precise time in the spring to confuse the mating cycle of codling moths which will greatly reduce worms from hatching and burrowing into the apples. Once the soil dries the orchard needs to be cultivated, both to control weed competition and trap valuable winter moisture in the ground. In April, beehives are brought in to ensure good pollination and after a successful fruit set, the entire months of May and part of June is spent hand thinning trees to ensure fruit will develop into a marketable size. The first seasonal watering happens sometime in June and propping up branches to support the increasing weight load of the fruit is critical during the early summer months.

Then it's time to prepare for harvest: bins needs to be placed among the trees in the orchard rows, and from early September until late October we hope to be rewarded with a high percentage of beautiful fruit. As soon as the fruit is harvested and windfalls are picked off the ground, it's a race against time to prepare the orchard for the wet winter months ahead, spreading lime, gypsum and compost, collecting the propping stakes and tying them to the trees, and sowing a cover crop of barley and vetch.

For a brief while longer we can ignore all the early Halloween merchandise and enjoy our summer treats as nature changes into her colorful autumn dress. On the farm, a stand of blooming sunflowers are tilting their giant heads towards a row of yet-to-be-picked Newton Pippins, as if anticipating the seasonal change. The energy in plants is starting to move toward the roots and seeds, and leaves are falling as their life forces go within. By eating with the seasons, we participate in this journey with all other living organisms we share this planet with. Happy Fall Equinox to all of You!

- Tom

Sunflowers of Summer face off Apples of Fall  

Companion Bakeshop Baking Workshops
Companion Bakeshop's wonderful pumpkin seed whole wheat sourdough bread Are you in love with Companion Bakeshop's delicious sourdough breads? Ever wanted to learn how to make bread like that? Real sourdough? Now that Erin has her own brick-oven bakery (right there on Mission St. in West Santa Cruz - easy to find), she offers workshops to teach others the fine craft of baking. And not just sourdough bread -- there are classes on pastry-making, even special holiday pie workshops (once and for all, learn how to make that flaky pie crust!). All classes include snacks and drinks and take-home baked goods. What's not to like?

Check out Companion's workshop schedule on their website for more details.
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 everyone - hope I get a chance to meet you all at Saturday's fundraiser -- I'll be there, cooking up a storm! Blessings, 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.]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Adapted from Recipes From A Kitchen Garden, by Renee Shepard
Makes about 2 cups
This is  an excellent chutney with a complex, not-too-sweet flavor. It makes a great gift.

1 tablespoon oil
1 small whole chili pepper (I try to choose a padron that has some heat), chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
4 large tomatoes, very thinly sliced
1/2 fresh lemon
1/3 cup raisins or currants
1/2 cup sugar

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped chili, cumin seed, nutmeg, and mustard seed. When the seeds start to jump in the oil, add the tomatoes.
2. Quarter the lemon half, removing any seeds, and lay it on top of the other ingredients in the pan. Simmer, stirring as needed to keep it from sticking, for about 15 minutes.
3. Stir in the raisins or currants and the sugar. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. Cool and transfer to jars. Store chutney in the refrigerator.

From KANSHA, by Elizabeth Andoh. (This is a wonderful book if you like Japanese cooking... just beautiful!)
Serves 2-4

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup matchstick-cut carrots
2/3 cup matchstick-cut daikon radish
1 teaspoon sweetener
1 tablespoon sake
2 tablespoons stock or water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup matchstick-cut peeled broccoli stems
1 tablespoon very finely shredded lemon, grapefruit, or orange peel (just the peel, no pith)
pinch of a hot red chili flakes

1. Heat the sesame oil in  a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the daikon and stir-fry for 1 minute, tossing constantly. Add the carrot and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. The strips may brown slightly; the sesame oil should be aromatic but not smoking.
2. Sprinkle sweetener over the vegetables and toss to distribute. Add the sake to deglaze the pan of any crusty bits, then stir-fry for 1 1/2 minutes more. Add the stock if the vegetables look in danger of scorching.
3. Drizzle in the soy sauce, starting at the rim of the pan and working toward the center. Continue to stir  and toss for about 30 seconds, or just until the liquid is nearly gone and the vegetables are tender and well glazed.
4. Add the broccoli and toss to meld flavors.  Add the citrus peel last, and toss to distribute. Finally, sprinkle with chili flakes and toss to distribute well.
5. Remove mixture from pan and let cool to room temperature. Kimpura is usually presented in small mounds, sometimes topped with an extra pinch of pepper.

6 large beets
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
12 tablespoons water
1/2 cup oil
pinch of sweetener
1/4 teaspoon  sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Grate beets on the finest grater you have. If you are using the food processor, use the blade with the smallest holes.
2. Place the grated beets in a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients until blended and pour over the beets. Toss and marinate for several hours before serving. NOTE: For an interesting variation, substitute grated daikon radishes for 1/3 of the beets.

Makes 6 half-pint jars.

10 summer squash
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 onions, chopped
1 sweet pepper, finely diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sweetener
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Wash squash and remove and discard ends; coarsely chop and mix with salt. Let stand for 5 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse in cold water, then drain once more.
2. Place the other vegetables in a saucepan with drained squash, vinegar, garlic, sweetener, spices. Mix through, then bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon at once into hot sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator. Can be used with hamburgers, veggie burgers, or anything that you like eating with relish!

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 4th Annual Fundraiser - "Dig!"
Sept 22nd, 4 - 8pm - click here for more info and to buy tickets

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.

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

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!
July 28 - From Seed to Loaf
Aug 25 - Totally Tomatoes
Sep 29 - Apple U-pick and Cider Pressing     



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.)