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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
27th Harvest Week, Season 17
October 1st - 7th, 2012
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
When Seasons Collide - Redux
It's Signup Time!
Harvest Celebration + Apple & Pumpkin U-Picks coming soon!
Dig! Fundraiser Recap
Edible Monterey Bay's 1st Anniversary Celebration to be held at Live Earth Farm
What's Cookin' in Debbie's Kitchen
Rebecca's Recipes
2012 Calendar

"Food is not a commodity which price can capture,
     but exacting effort,
     carefully sustained,
     the life work of countless beings."

- Edward Espe Brown

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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
Summer squash
Sweet peppers
Dry-farmed tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes

Regular (Medium) Share
Green beans
Padron peppers
Sweet peppers
Dry-farmed tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes

Budget (Small) Share
Green beans
Padron peppers
Summer squash
Sweet peppers
Dry-farmed tomatoes

Bread Option
This week's bread will be whole wheat with flax seeds (yum!)

Extra Fruit Option
Gala apples, cherry tomatoes, strawberries or raspberries, and Concord grapes! 


  beautiful Concord grapes! 

Beautiful Concord grapes on the vine  


When Seasons Collide - Redux
A block of sunflowers in the late afternoon sun With October here, our Coastal Summer has arrived... but will it last? Late season heat waves are not uncommon, but for coastal growers like us, spoiled by year-round moderate temperatures -- when yesterday's thermometer hit a blistering 100 degrees it was a scramble to adjust irrigation, planting and harvest schedules to deal with it. Growing a diversity of crops is always a mixed blessing; some thrive, while others get stressed. Tomatoes, peppers, green beans and squash will get a late season boost from the heat, but ripening apples and berries may get sunburned. And insects, especially aphids and flea beetles which thrive in warm weather, will probably multiply on some of their favorite host crops (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli) which have already been planted for late fall and winter harvest. Fortunately this time of year there are plenty of beneficial predator insects which will help keep the population of aphids down. We also use physical barriers to limit pest incursion, such as putting floating row cover over the young and more vulnerable arugula and Brussels sprouts. By week's end this heat wave will be a distant memory, as the first chance of showers for our area is predicted. If it materializes, it will quench a very thirsty, dry landscape.

Kabocha squash closeup Looking ahead, the winter squash is stellar and I predict we'll have a bumper harvest of four of my favorite types: Delicata, Butternut, Kabocha (pictured at right), and Sweet Dumplings -- all great to cook with. The pumpkins are also quickly turning bright orange, just in time for our harvest celebration (see announcement below). The concord grapes are sweet and fragrant and so are the Quince. Fields are being prepared for end-of-season plantings of strawberries, garlic, onions, artichokes and cover crops. October is always a time of seasonal transition; we are holding on to the last of our summer crops, the Newton Pippin and Fuji apple harvest is in full swing, apricot trees need to be pruned, winter squash needs to be harvested... we all feel a little nervous as the season slowly turns and the chance of early storms, announcing the beginning of the rainy season, is not far off.

- Tom  

It's Signup Time!
This Friday October 5th we will begin taking signups for both our 2012-13 Winter and 2013 Regular CSA Season.

With preparations for late Fall and early Winter underway we are well into planning for next year's 2013 growing season. This is the time when we "plant the seeds" to ensure that the life-cycle of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program continues healthy, vibrant and abundant. Your financial commitment as a CSA member is a "seed" we count on in order to continue to plant our crops and operate our farm. Your participation is directly woven into the life of our land, its people, plants, animals, and soil.   The Live Earth Farm CSA is a partnership with you, our members, and a journey through the growing seasons, where we commit to sharing both the risk and bounty inherent in growing your food.

Many have begun asking about when they can sign up for a Winter Share, and how to sign up for next spring. I am glad there is so much interest and I invite everyone to renew their CSA partnership with us. So here is an overview before we  start the Signup on Friday, October 5th.

When you sign-up the first thing you'll notice is that we have a new website. It is still a work in progress but should be easy to navigate.

Shares will be available in all three sizes (Large, Medium, Small) for both:

2012-13 Winter Season  (10 weeks during Dec - Feb)
2013 Regular Season (33 weeks during April - Nov).

NEW! Full-Season subscription.  Want to subscribe to both our Winter and Regular Seasons at the same time?  Well, now you can do just that.  Yay!  Please note:  these subscriptions are limited by the number of Winter subscriptions available, so subscribe early if you want to take advantage of this new "full season" offering.

Winter Season is always very popular, so be sure to subscribe early because we offer only half as many subscriptions for Winter as we do for our normal Regular Season. The Winter Shares are a wonderful way to stay connected to the growing cycles of the farm and to experience the rich, hardy, flavorful and very nutritious produce that is abundant during what is commonly the "off-season" for most farms. To ensure abundance and diversity in the shares we supplement with crops from other local organic farms if needed and will continue to include a bit of 'Summer in a Jar' from Happy Girl Kitchen Co., who has been busy putting up our tomatoes and other summer fruit and veggies to enjoy this winter. We'll continue to offer our bread share from Companion Bakers, as well as a limited number of pasture-raised egg shares (we recommend you sign up early to get your egg share).

2013 Regular Season - Very important to the livelihood of the farm is your commitment for the 2013 Regular season. It is your financial commitment to 2013 during the slower winter months which is critical to helping us maintain a sustainable level of income for our workers, and also helps cover the costs of essential and early season purchases.

To make this financial commitment for 2013 easier for all our members, we again offer what we hope are helpful price saving and payment options:

Early Registration discount of 2% off your entire subscription (Regular and Full-season only). This discount is only available until Dec 31st, so if you know you want to be subscribed to the 2013 Regular Season, we highly encourage you to take advantage of it now!

PAYMENT OPTIONS AND DISCOUNTS (Regular and Full-season only)

Payment-in-full for your subscription is a major commitment to the Farm, and we honor this by offering a 2% discount off your entire subscription for choosing this payment option. (In the past the discount applied only to the the shares but now it includes the additional options, i.e. bread, fruit, and eggs as well.) This discount is separate from the Early Registration discount, so pay in full before Dec 31st and take advantage of a combined 4% discount!

Return of the Two-Payment Plan! - Unable to make payment-in-full yet still want to demonstrate your extra commitment to the Farm and receive a 1% discount off your subscription, too?  Choose the Two-Payment Plan and make the first of two equal payments upon placement of your subscription, and have the second one automatically scheduled for April 1st, 2013. Register before Dec 31 to also take advantage of the Early Registration discount to get a combined 3% off.

Installment Payment Plan -  Equal payments over the months from when you sign up to the end of the season. By spreading the total cost over many months, each payment will be less, and very regular, so you can manage your monthly expenditures a lot easier. You will still get the 2% discount if you sign up early.

Please note:  if you are subscribing only for the Winter Season, since there are only 10 deliveries, there are no discounts and we ask that you make payment-in-full.

- Tom  

Harvest Celebration + Apple & Pumpkin U-Picks coming soon!
pumpkins on straw bales Mark your calendar and come be part of our last farm celebration of the season, our "All about Apples" (and Pumpkins, of course!) 2012 Harvest Celebration, October 20th at 2pm. (Apple U-Pick will start at 10am.) Hope to see you all here on the farm for some serious apple crushing, cider making, apple picking, pumpkin carving, pie eating, singing and dancing at this fun-filled event! Details about the event to be announced in the next newsletter!

- Tom  

Dig! Fundraiser Recap  LEFDP logo
Thanks to so much support from our community, Dig! was a huge success!  We are still tallying results, but it looks like we netted about $15,000 in funds that will go directly towards providing education programs on the farm for local youth! This event is unique in so many ways, one of which is that we have almost no overhead. Everything is donated: The Chefs skills, and time, the ingredients used to create their delicious masterpieces, all of the silent auction items, the services of Lightfoot Industries, the flowers, the wine, and all of the manpower that brings it all together. Which means almost ALL of the money raised pays for kids to participate in our programs. The result is truly a community achievement. My heartfelt thanks to those who participated whether guest, volunteer, staff or sponsor -- you all contributed to a beautiful and successful afternoon.

Here is text of the speech I made at the event, thanking our guests for their support and inspiring them to do even more:

"Does a girl named Yasmin ring any bells for any of you? She is the student from Oaxaca who I mentioned in the invitation letter for this event. I told her story because it so nicely illustrates what we are trying to do through the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program. We have so many high minded and well intentioned goal: to improve childhood nutrition, to foster an environmental ethic, to build and support local, organic food systems, but it only takes one student leaving the farm feeling proud of themselves to know that we have planted a powerful seed.

"Yasmin is a quiet girl, who visited us with the English Language Learners of EA Hall Middle School. She is the kind of student you might not take notice of. She never raises her hand to volunteer an answer. She is always respectful of the guide and of her peers. She is sweet and not overly jovial or somber. Academically, she is middle of the road. She never stands out, which is why when she spoke up during our goat milking activity we all took notice. As we began to introduce our goatherd and explain how to milk, she shyly told us she knew how, then uncharacteristically jumped right in to demonstrate to her fellow students when given the opportunity. She milked the goats with a practiced hand, and impressed the other students with her speed and comfort with our large and sometimes ornery Moonshadow. For the rest of the activity the students directed their questions to Yasmin who deftly answered them. This student who had never seen or seemed to want the spotlight, blossomed when in her element. On the farm, she was in an environment she knew well from her childhood on a ranch in Oaxaca. And here she could be a leader, where in the classroom she just blended in.

"According to her teacher, Ms. Flores, the pride she showed after this encounter on the farm followed her back to the classroom and gave her confidence in both her social and academic endeavors. A pre teen feeling pride in their background, in their family, and in their own knowledge is a rare blessing and a welcome consequence of the work we are doing through the Discovery Program.

"When you make a donation, you are enabling us to reach more students like we did Yasmin. Through our programs kids will become more confident, better eaters, conscious consumers, and maybe even some day producers in a more sustainable, local, and organic food system.

"In 2011, the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program served 1,400 kids, an increase of 75% since 2008. This fall, through our fundraising efforts, LEFDP will host and pay for transportation for 120 third graders and 60 second graders and 60 fifth graders from Ann Soldo Elementary School on East Lake Boulevard. On Monday the 17th we debuted our new Applemania tour with the first group of 60 3rd graders. The tour included apple harvesting, a farm hike, four hands-on, grade level appropriate stations and our new newsletter.

"In this coming year we are building a program, which still needs a name, but I am calling Seeds Become Fruit. It is a three-part project, engaging kids on the farm in hands-on lessons that deepen and expand with the ongoing participation of local students in three farm projects over the course of a year. All of the students who visit the farm will be invited back to one of our annual celebrations. At the celebration, they will be awarded a certificate of participation and the older ones will be junior docents, leading learning stations like the ones they participated in in their first visit. With their Certificate of Participation is an invitation to our Summer Camp and a promise to make camp affordable for as many of the students as we can accommodate. With your help, we could offer more free and reduced fee spots than we do full price.

"At Summer Camp kids get to spend a whole week deepening and expanding their experience of Live Earth Farm. When you give as much as you can tonight, you are making all of our programs accessible to all of the kinds of kids that live in the Pajaro Valley, Monterey and South Bay areas.

"And last but not least if you have more time than money, you can become an LEFDP Docent and help lead these tours and camps, or maintain the discovery garden.

"So, please write a check to LEFDP to make a tax-deductible donation. Everyone has something to offer." [Readers online can click here and make a donation online.]

       Scenes from this year's fundraiser: Dig!
Scenes from LEFDP's 2012 fundraiser

And just in case wine dinners are not your thing, we have a few fun events coming up for you too. On October 20th at the LEF 2012 Harvest Celebration we will be serving beer to raise funds for LEFDP along with all of the other fun stuff we always do AND on October 25th Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing will be donating a portion of every pint sold to LEFDP on their "Thank you Thursday". Tom, Constance, and I along with members of our Board of Directors will be there to enjoy a pint or two with you. RSVP to the event on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LEFDP.

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

Edible Monterey Bay's 1st Anniversary Celebration to be held at Live Earth Farm
Edible Monterey Bay Logo Ever heard of Edible Monterey Bay? It's one of 70 magazines in the award-winning and beloved Edible Communities family (www.ediblecommunities.com).  The Edibles span North America, but each is locally owned and run.

Edible Monterey Bay's mission is to celebrate the local food cultures of (specifically) the Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties, season by season. They believe in sustainability, and that everyone has a right to healthful, clean and affordable food; that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. Their magazine, website and events hope to inspire readers to get to know and support our local growers, fishers, chefs, vintners and food artisans.

So what's Live Earth Farm got to do with this? Well Tom has graciously offered up the farm as a venue for this wonderful magazine's first anniversary celebration. Another fabulous plein-air sit-down five-course dinner (all organic, all local food and wine), coming up soon - next Saturday October 13th. It's a pretty fantastic lineup, and quite affordable tickets for this kind of thing ($75 apiece includes dinner, wines, tax and tip). Click here to learn more, and to get tickets!

What's Cookin' in Debbie's Kitchen
CSA member and friend of the farm Laurel Pavesi asked me to write more often for the newsletter, so Laurel, this is for you! And of course everybody else too. The story is, in my usual goings-on about the kitchen recently there were a few things I made up using "what's in the box" that came out so well I took pictures so I could  share how I made them with you. And since the box content has been pretty consistent lately, it means you could make them too if you're so inclined!

Let's start with Braised Oxtail & Padrons.
Yup, the experiments with Padron peppers have been ongoing, what with us getting them every week now for several weeks. I look back on that "I never make them any other way" thing I wrote two months ago (have we been getting them for that long? Wow!) and just laugh. Granted, that is a superb way to prepare them, but you know the old saw about too much of a good thing... ya don't want to go losing your taste for them! With this braise, they lent just the right amount of heat - sort of like a chili, but with a twist.

Here's the ingredient list:
Beef oxtails (or any braise-worthy cut with lots of good fat and connective tissue. I used my wonderful Morris Grassfed Beef oxtails, of course!)
Padron peppers
Other sweet peppers from the box
Leeks and celery from the box
Several tomatoes from the box; dry-farm, heirloom or both is fine
Oregano or marjoram

Take your meat out of the fridge about an hour before you plan to begin cooking. Since you're going to be browning it, it's best not to put cold meat into a hot pan, as it'll tend to boil/steam rather than brown. Blot away excess juices and sprinkle with salt on all sides. Then let that rest while you chop up the other ingredients.

And chopping is really all you need to do. Just cut the tops off the padrons and roughly chop; no need to seed them. Chop the other veggies in your usual fashion. The only thing I chopped small was the garlic. And I used leeks 'cuz I had 'em; you could just as easily use onions.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. A braise is just long-cooking in low heat with not a lot of liquid (much like a crock-pot, actually).

Brown meat on all sides in a heavy-bottomed skillet (you know me, I swear by cast iron, but use whatever you have) and transfer to an oven-worthy pot with a close fitting lid. Try to use a pot that will fit the meat snugly (it will reduce in cooking).
Oxtail padrons braise 1

In the same pan you browned the meat in, add your peppers (all kinds) to the fat and cook, stirring, until they soften and start to brown. Add leeks (or onions) and celery and continue the softening/browning process. I find lately I prefer adding the garlic last, because it cooks so quickly relative to the other items in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and oregano. [sorry about the dirty stove! I cook a lot ;-)]
Oxtail padrons braise 1

When the veggies are good (not too critical; are they softening and maybe browned a bit in spots? That's fine.), scrape all that out of the pan and on top of the meat in the pot, sort of tucking/poking it down between the pieces a little. Put the pan back on the burner and deglaze with a little water or stock or wine or what-have-you. I think I used a little vermouth, actually, because I had it on the shelf! But water is just fine. And if you don't know what deglazing is - it is simply putting a little liquid into a pan that has cooking detritus stuck to the bottom of it; you stir the liquid around over a little heat and scrape up the stuck bits - helps cleanup later AND you get this great flavored liquid for your braise! Anyway, pour that over the meat and veggies (I like to use a silicone spatula to get every last bit of pan-browned goodness), then put the chopped tomatoes on top. Believe it or not, that little bit of deglazing liquid combined with the juice the tomatoes will give off during cooking (the veggies will contribute some too) is all the liquid you'll need.
Oxtail padrons braise 3

Put the lid on and stick it in the preheated oven. So now, "long and low" is the ticket. Check it after an hour, hour and a half; by now it should be bubbling and aromatic. Wipe the drool from your mouth (not over the pot!), and maybe turn the pieces of meat and spoon the veggies/juices over them. Put the lid back on and continue to cook for at least another hour. I did mine for 2 1/2 hrs all together, but as long as the liquid doesn't evaporate, you can let it go for even longer. Turn the heat off but leave the pot in the oven for another hour even. The result should be tender meat that is practically falling off the bone (my favorite part is the connective tissue, which gelatinizes and and is succulent, unctuous). And the veggies, together with the meat juices and fat, will have formed a delicious sauce with the chili-kick of padrons! It is all even better reheated the next day. Mmmm, now I'm hungry!
Oxtail padron braise 4

Okay, I had like three more recipes, but I think I'll do just one more, as I'm takin' up a lot of room here!

Debbie's Simple Potato, Green Bean and Lentil Salad
This is more or less a mash-up of a potato salad and a bean salad. Since I had both (potatoes and beans) I thought hm, I don't see why I couldn't make just one salad instead of two. The process is ultimately simple: you cook the potatoes, cook the green beans, combine with other ingredients, toss with a vinaigrette while everything's still warm, and that's it! Okay, I'll give you a little more instruction than that, but basically that's all it is. ;-)

Salad ingredients:
Potatoes (preferably the waxy kind, like Tom's Russian Bananas, for example)
Green beans
A can o' lentils (or you can use dried and cook them; the can was just easier)
Tomatoes (of course!)
Celery (we're getting lots of it, so we need ways to use it, right?)
Some herbs (I have chives, marjoram and thyme in my yard, so I used those. You could use dried herbs [mix 'em with the dressing to moisten, in that case])

...and for the vinaigrette:
lemon juice
vinegar (I'm on a sherry vinegar kick at the moment, but red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar would also work fine)
small clove of garlic
Dijon mustard
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

You want to cook the potatoes whole, in their skins, and slightly under-cook them (so they don't fall apart in the salad), so put them in a pot with ample, well-salted water and bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil about 8-10 minutes. They should just pierce with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain, and when cool enough to handle (but still warm!), slice or cut into large bite-size-ish chunks and put in a large bowl. I prefer to leave the skin on, but you can peel them if you're potato-skin averse.

Trim green beans and cut into bite-sized segments, steam for 5 minutes than add to the bowl with the potatoes.

Drain the can of lentils and heat in the microwave or in a pot on the stove until warm; add to the bowl.

Chop up as much celery as you like and add. Good crunchy texture contrast.

Halve a couple tomatoes, seed them (I give the seeds to my chickens - they hoover them up like nobody's business!), dice and add to the bowl.

Chop and add fresh herbs (if using dry, like I say, add them to the vinaigrette).

Combine vinaigrette ingredients. This kind of salad can handle much more vinaigrette than a regular lettuce-type salad can, so don't skimp. I use a good dollop of Dijon, juice from half a lemon, maybe 3 tbsp. vinegar and a quarter cup of olive oil. Don't forget that clove of garlic! I put it through a garlic press which mashes it, releasing more of the flavorful oils. You should have about a half-cup of dressing when all's said and done. Whisk it all together, adding salt and pepper to taste, and pour over the bowlful of (hopefully) still warm veggies and stir to mix.

You can eat right away while still warm or room temp. You can also refrigerate it and eat it the next day. I like to put it on some lettuce and garnish with a few Kalamata olives.

Potato, Green bean and Lentil Salad

Bon Appetit! - Debbie 
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 all - I am exceedingly GIDDY with this gorgeous weather! The house is swirling with all kinds of tempting smells from all the inspired cooking I have been doing. I can' t get enough of the tomatoes and sweet peppers and am having so much fun cooking and eating them! What a treat to share with friends, too. I went to a lovely 60th birthday party yesterday and took some of the bounty from my box to share. It was such a delight to see my friends' faces when they tasted the simple sliced heirloom and farm-dry tomatoes and sweet peppers -- no dressing, nada! Just the beauty of the vegetables themselves. And oh, the padrons shined! I am so blessed to receive this delicious box every week. And how grateful I am to share it with friends, be able to teach about the amazing benefits, both taste-wise and health-wise. Hope enjoy this great weather we're having right now, and PLEASE go out this evening and howl in jubilation for the magical HARVEST full moon! In gratitude with 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  Alice Waters The Art of Simple Food
This is a simple and wonderfully delicious soup celebrating the tomato in all its full flavor.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts; 4 servings

Warm a heavy-bottomed pan. Add:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small leek, white and light green parts, sliced
A pinch of sea salt

Cover and cook until soft, but not brown. Add water to keep from browning if necessary. Add;
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

Cook for about 2 minutes, then add:
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
(about 10 medium tomatoes), washed and cored, and sliced
1 scant tablespoon brown rice
A large pinch of sea salt
1/2 bay leaf
1 small sprig of savory, thyme, or basil

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes fall apart. Add:
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
Continue to cook for another 10 minutes until the rice is tender. Remove the herb sprig. Carefully ladle the soup into a blender in batches not more then 1/3 full at a time. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pass the pureed soup through a medium strainer to remove skins and seeds. Taste for salt. Add more water if soup is too thick.

Adapted from Alice Waters The Art of Simple Food
Makes about 3 quarts: 4-6 servings

Heat in a heavy-bottomed soup pot:
1/4 cup olive oil

Add and cook, stirring often, over medium heat:
1 large onion, sliced fine
a pinch of saffron threads
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Cook until very soft but not browned. If the onions or garlic start to stick, turn down the heat and add a splash of water to the pot.

While the onions are cooking, wash in cold water:
5 medium green or yellow squash
Cut into thick slices (3/4 inch). When the onions are done, add the squash to the pot with:
sea salt

Cook for 3 minutes then pour in:
3 cups stock of choice
3 cups of water
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the yogurt and mint garnish. Cut into julienne:
4 mint sprigs
In a mortar and pestle, pound half the julienned mint into a paste. Stir in the remaining mint and add:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup yogurt
sea salt

Let the soup cool a bit, them puree in a blender until very smooth (take care when blending the soup to leave a vent for the steam to escape). Reheat, thin with a little water if necessary, taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve hot with a spoonful of mint and yogurt. Pass around:
Lime wedges
at the table if you want.

Yield: 18 muffins

3 cups flour of choice
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sharp grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated squash
2-3 chopped scallions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the squash, parsley, scallions and dill and toss lightly to mix.
2. In another bowl, beat the eggs and then whisk in the buttermilk and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the squash/flour mixture and stir just enough to blend.
3. Spoon the batter into buttered or lined muffin tins, filling them 3/4 full. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Serves 6

2 medium onions, sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 pound tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon sweetener
1/2 cup water
sea salt and pepper
2 pounds squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 teaspoon minced mint leaves
1 teaspoon minced dill (1/2 teaspoon dried)

1. In a saucepan over medium low-heat, gently stew the onions in the olive oil until soft, but not brown -- about 10 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and sweetener and cook for another 10 minutes. Then pour in the water, add salt and pepper, and stir well.
3. When the tomato sauce has come to a boil, add the squash with the mint and dill. Cook gently about 15 minutes or until the squash is tender. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Lemon-Tahini Sauce:
1 1/2 cloves garlic
1 lemon juiced
1/2 cup tahini
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup leftover blanching liquid water from kale and green onions (you may need more if the sauce is too thick)

2 bunches kale
1 bunch green onion, sliced
1 avocado

1. Blend tahini sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste and more lemon if needed. You may need to add a little more blanching liquid if sauce is too thick.
2. Chop kale into 1 inch-pieces. Add to a medium-sized sauce pan with 1 inch rapidly boiling water. Simmer kale for 6-10 minutes until the stems are tender and the color is bright green. [I rarely do my kale for more than 2 minutes... it depends on how soft you want it to get. 10 minutes would be pretty soft! But then I also strip the leaves off the stems; Rebecca is including the stems, so that's probably why the additional cooking time. - Debbie]
3. While kale is cooking, peel and cut avocado into chunks.
4. When kale is done, remove from pan, reserving the blanching liquid. Drain well.
5. Place kale in a large bowl and toss with the lemon-tahini dressing while the kale is still warm. Gently mix in the cut-up avocado. Garnish with the sliced green onions.

Serves 4

Green Beans:
1/2 pound green beans, root end removed
1 ounce deep-fried tofu pouch (abura-age) optional
1/2 cup (or more) shelled edamame, cooked
toasted sesame seeds
sea salt
White Sesame Sauce:
1/2 cup toasted tahini or 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sweetener
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake (rice vinegar can be substituted)

1. For the sesame sauce: If making from seeds, in a small frying pan over low heat, toast the sesame seeds until fragrant, taking care not to burn them. Pulse in a food processor to your desired consistency. Transfer the paste or tahini to a bowl and add the sweetener, soy sauce, and sake or vinegar. Mix, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula. Adjust the consistency with water.
2. Green Beans: Cut into 2 inch pieces. Have ice water ready in a medium bowl. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the beans until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer the beans to the ice bath with a slotted to shock them, then drain.
3. Cut the deep-fried tofu into strips (if you are using it). Have boiling water ready in a small pot. To remove excess oil from the tofu, put strips in a sieve and pour boiling water over them, then drain and press in paper towel to dry.
4. Lightly press out any excess liquid from beans and tofu strips, put them in a large bowl along with the edamame beans and mix with the sesame sauce. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serves 4

Remove the tough outer stalks of:
1 head of celery

Trim the root end close the bottom of the stalks and cut off the leafy tops. (I actually leave the tops on -- lots of great vitamins there!) Pull off the stalks and cut in half lengthwise. Line them up and cut in half crosswise. Then cut those on the diagonal into wedges.

Into a heavy pan over medium heat, pour:
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, sliced thin
2-3 thyme sprigs
Cook for 5 minutes. Add the celery. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onions and celery have browned a little.

Season with:
sea salt

1 cup chicken or beef broth. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer. Cover the pan and cook until the celery is tender. The sauce should be thick and coat the celery; if not, uncover the pan, raise the heat, and reduce the liquid as much as needed. Taste for seasonings and adjust. Serve.
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.)