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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
9th Harvest Week, Season 17
May 28th - June 3rd, 2012
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
Live "Birth" Farm
Summer Solstice Celebration coming June 16th
LEF strawberries and more at Veggie Box, Downtown SJ
LEFDP "Art at the Farm" Summer Camp update
You still have time! Vote for LEFDP in New Leaf's EnviroTokens program
Jamba Juice Community Appreciation Cards
Rebecca's Recipes
2012 Calendar

" Love is the defining gift that confers health and humanity on each new human; it's the gift that passes on endlessly..."
- David Suzuki, from
The Sacred Balance

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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
Asian greens (Pak Choi)
Fresh young onions
Summer squash

Regular (Medium) Share
Asian greens (Pak Choi)
Asian greens (Tatsoi)
Green garlic

Budget (Small) Share
Asian greens (Pak Choi)
Fresh young onions

Bread Option
This week's bread will be plain whole wheat

Extra Fruit Option


Live "Birth" Farm
We take care of a lot of living organisms out here on the farm, but nothing creates more excitement than the arrival of baby animals. Right now, with a new flock of 300 fluffy chicks in the brooder and five of eight "mama" goats just having given birth to 10 babies, we're bursting with new growth and days are almost not long enough to attend to it all. [The chicks are so irresistibly cute that our 7 year old daughter Elisa persuaded her mother (I don't count, I am pretty easy to persuade when it comes to my daughters wishes) to let her raise two of them in the house as pets. If one ends up being a rooster, that would surely take care of having to use alarm clocks!] Over Memorial Day weekend we got to watch and assist with the birth of several baby goats. I am always impressed by how quickly the newborns get up and walk on their wobbly legs to find their mother's teats, which of course are impeccably timed to be full of colostrum-rich milk, mother nature's most amazing, life-nourishing elixir. The next few weeks are when all the babies are most vulnerable, and therefore require special attention. The chicks are kept in a brooder with warming lights until they develop their true feathers. At that stage the young pullets will have adapted to their new environment and be strong enough to deal with temperature changes, start exploring the outdoors, and look for food on their own. With baby goats, on the other hand, the most important thing is that they learn how to suckle right after birth, which sometimes requires a little coaching and occasionally supplemental bottle-feeding.
Baby chicks and baby goats
Saturday's Community Farm Day was a good opportunity to see the babies. After picking strawberries, folks had a chance to go on a short walk up the hill through the apricot orchard to visit the goats and baby chicks. Tractor rides kept me busy and little did I know that the carrot patch was almost as popular as the strawberry patch. Pulling carrots out of the ground was like unearthing little treasures. I was excited to see some of the kids biting into their freshly dug carrots not worried that a little soil was still attached. This is probably the most direct experience one can have of where food comes from - i.e. directly from the soil.
Kids digging carrots
As people walked over to the strawberry patch I could see the yearning looks towards the dry-farmed tomato field close by. The question of course was when we might see the first ripe tomatoes this season. The tomato field just passed a milestone last Friday, when we put the stakes out along the rows. The stakes are five feet high, and while the plants are now only a foot tall and starting to show their first flowers, they will grow taller and we will try to keep up with them by weaving twine alongside and through the field to make a network of stakes, plants and string. If our coastal fog this summer is anything like last year it will be late July early August before they're ready, but I am an optimist and believe this year we'll have warmer, sunnier days... and tomatoes by mid-July. Oh boy, that is less than two months away!

- Tom

Staking dry-farmed tomatoes, before and after

Summer Solstice Celebration coming June 16th
Sunflowers - symbols of summerThe list of farm chores seems endless as we approach summer: from planting, harvesting, weeding, irrigating, washing, packing, selling, plowing and cultivating, to feeding, milking and collecting eggs... one almost forgets what one's really doing. It is easy to forget when caught up in the whirlwind of daily work. This is why I like to pay attention to the seasonal transitions, pause, and take the opportunity to gather as a community and celebrate our connection to the Earth.

With Summer just around the corner, it's time to mark our calendars and celebrate. On Saturday, June 16th, from 2-9pm  everyone is invited to the farm's 17th "Beginning-of-Summer" party, i.e. our Summer Solstice Celebration.  It is always a joyous event, an expression of community honoring the connection with the land and each other. For us it is an important moment to pause, to take a short breather between all the hard work we've already put in and the big harvest ahead. There is no lack of fun and interesting activities for everyone to enjoy:
<> Farm tours with Farmer Tom and self-guided walking tours
<> U-pick strawberries
<> Straw bale climbing fort
<> Pasture-raised chickens and farm animal tours
<> Children's games and activities in and around the LEF Discovery Garden
<> Baking bread and pizzas in the farm's traditional wood fired cob oven
<> Milking and cheesemaking workshop
<> Music with Kuzanga Marimba
<> Community potluck dinner, bonfire and dance, and much more....

- Tom 

LEF strawberries and more at Veggie Box, Downtown SJ
Veggie Box logo Are you a Live Earth Farm fruit-and-veggie groupie, yearning for some of those strawberries Tom goes on and on about, but you travel too much to get a CSA share, or can't make it to (or aren't near) farmers markets where we have a farm stand? Well there is this other option...

In Downtown San Jose's nifty new San Pedro Square Market [btwn N San Pedro, N Almaden and W St John St] longtime CSA member and supporter Diana Foss has fulfilled her dream of opening a small, local market that sources fresh, seasonal produce (plus other farm-based goodies) from local farms, right here in the heart of the 'Valley of Heart's Delight' on a daily basis (instead of only weekly, like farmers markets). She calls it "Veggie Box", and I highly recommend a visit. This is a really cool place, and it's not far off the Guadalupe River Park and bike trail (I can get there by bike from my home). It is right next to the Peralta Adobe.

Farmer Tom recently produced a great video with Diana for Veggie Box, sharing some of the secrets to growing his delicious organic strawberries:
How to Grow Organic Strawberries with Live Earth Farm and Veggie Box 
And here's Diana herself with a short video on her "Tips for picking the best strawberries." Of course if you get a CSA share, you know Tom and crew have made this selection for you. Thankfully, they're already hip to what Diana's talking about!
Veggie Box Shares 5 Tips for Picking the Best Strawberries 
Veggie Box is 'new in town', so of course we like to help spread the word for them so they can flourish and continue to offer our (and other local farms') produce, so if you know anyone in the greater Downtown SJ area tell 'em about Veggie Box or send them these video links -- better yet, stop by the next time you're in San Jose!

She's got a great website too -- www.veggie-box.com -- check it out!

- Debbie

LEFDP "Art at the Farm" Summer Camp update
Art at the Farm logotype, purple backgroundLEFDP logo, purple background
Due to low enrollment, we have consolidated our Art at the Farm Summer Day Camp into TWO sessions: June 18th-22nd and July 16th-20th.  We still have some spaces available in both of these sessions, so please help spread the word and contact us if you would like to enroll!
Want to know more about it first? Click here: Art at the Farm Summer Day Camp.

You still have time! Vote for LEFDP in New Leaf's EnviroTokens program
Have you voted yet for Live Earth Farm Discovery Program?  Please take a few seconds (literally) to cast your ballot for LEFDP for the Santa Cruz store locations.  If we win, customers will be able to choose LEFDP as the recipient of the 10 cents donation New Leaf makes for every reusable bag customers bring to the store.
New Leaf's EnviroToken logo
Click here, or on the token at left to vote! Voting happens throughout the month of May and can be done once from every computer you use.  Help us spread the word!

Jamba Juice Community Appreciation Cards
Jamba Juice Community Appreciation Card
Wondered about those Jamba Juice Community Appreciation Cards in your CSA binder? Please take one (they're free), and every time you swipe it at Jamba Juice, 10% of your purchase goes to LEFDP!  Even better, now through June 30th, swipe that card and get a dollar off your purchase there!  No coupons necessary!  Most locations participate.

Rebecca's Recipes
Click here to go to Debbie's recipe database. Rebecca's recipes will be included in the database as well. [What happened to "Notes from Debbie's Kitchen?"]  


GREETINGS everyone - I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend. We are getting an amazing array of vegetables in the box now. All I want to do is stay home and cook and experiment with this bounty! Although I love the fall and winter offerings, there is just nothing like spring goodness to excite the palate. So I cannot believe I forgot to pick up my box last week! (This never has happened before, and I am going to make sure there is no repeat!) My niece was graduating from college and I got so caught up in the excitement I forgot. I really depend on it and look forward to all of its beautiful contents for well-being and vibrant health. I can hardly bear the thought of going to buy anonymous veggies somewhere; this experience makes me truly appreciate how blessed we are to receive our weekly gift of radiant goodness. What am I going to do without my green garlic for a week? And that beautiful escarole I eat right out of the fridge for a snack? Needless to say I am really savoring my leftovers from last week's box; this was a wake-up call for me in deeper gratitude. So thank you, Live Earth Farm, for taking such good care of us with all your abundance! And to everyone else, I hope you all have a wonderful week full of goodness. (And don't forget to pick up your boxes!) 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.]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Serves 6

1 bunch kale, washed and stemmed
1 bunch chard, washed and stemmed
1/4 c. cashew butter (or almond or peanut)
1 Tbs. curry paste (see recipe below)
1 Tbs. tamari soy sauce
1/4 c. water, up to 3/4 c.

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the greens. Return to a boil and cook 2 minutes, maintaining bright green color. Drain and squeeze out any excess water.
2. Combine cashew butter (or nut butter of choice), curry paste, tamari, and 1/4 c. water in a blender and blend until creamy. Add additional water in increments until a thick yogurt-like consistency is achieved.
3. Reheat the greens in a skillet and toss with just enough sauce to coat.

Curry Paste
2 onions from the "bunch", finely chopped
1/4 c. olive oil
1 Tbs. cumin seed
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seed
1/4 tsp. whole cloves
1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 Tbs. coriander seed
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbs. tumeric
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbs. ginger, peeled and chopped

1. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and saute until very soft. While the onions are cooking, grind the cumin, fenugreek, cloves, peppercorns, and coriander into a fine pulp.
2. Mix the newly-ground spices with the whole mustard seeds, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, tumeric, and cayenne. Set aside.
3. Add the ginger to the onions and let it cook a few minutes. Add the spice blend to the onions and ginger, cook 5 more minutes. Store in refrigerator where it will keep for at least a month.

Serves 6

3 apples, sliced
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice, divided
1/2 C sliced almonds
about 10 cups of mixed Asian greens, (Pac Choi and Tatsoi), lettuce, and radicchio for color and a taste of bitterness
3 oz. blue cheese (optional)
1/2 c. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. sweetener
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly cracked pepper

1. Toss the apple slices with 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice to prevent them from darkening, and set aside.
2. Toast the almonds in a large, dry skillet over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, shaking the pan often to prevent burning.
3. Make the dressing in a large bowl by whisking together the remaining 3 Tbs. lemon juice, oil, garlic, sweetener, salt, and pepper.
4. Add the greens to the bowl, toss with the dressing. Arrange the salad on a platter or individual salad plates, and top with the apple slices, toasted almonds, and blue cheese.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1/2 c. white miso
6 Tbs. oil of choice (I use olive oil)
1/4 c. (packed) finely grated carrot
2 Tbs. finely grated peeled ginger
2 Tbs. unseasoned rice vinegar
4 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. honey

Place miso, oil, grated carrots, ginger, vinegar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, honey, and 1/4 c. water in resuable container. Cover and shake vigorously until well combined. Cover and chill. Can be made 2 days ahead!

Serves 6

3 c. cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 c. diagonally sliced celery
1 c. finely chopped broccoli florets
1/2 c. grated carrot
1/4 c. thinly sliced onion
1/4 c. unsalted sunflower seed kernels
1/2 can whole water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 c. fresh orange sections
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
3 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/3 c. oil of choice

1. To prepare the slaw, combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to combine.
2. To prepare the dressing, combine the soy sauce and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil to soy sauce mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over slaw, tossing gently to coat. Add the dressing slowly, as you may not want to use all of it. Top slaw with oranges and almonds.

Serves 5

1-2 bunches chard
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 heads radicchio, cored, cut into 1 inch wedges, leaves separated (about 4 cups)
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar (or more)
2 Tbs. currants (optional)
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted

1. Cut ribs from chard and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Slice leaves lengthwise into 1-inch strips.
2. Melt butter with oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook onion until it is tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add chard ribs; cover and cook until tender, about 6 minutes more. Working in batches, add the chard leaves and radicchio to the pot, stirring until wilted. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, stirring often, 8-10 minutes. Stir in vinegar and currants, if desired. Season with salt and pepper and add more vinegar to taste, if desired.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chard mixture to a bowl or serving platter. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.

Serves 4 (Serving size: about 1 3/4 cups)

2 heads escarole, quartered lengthwise and rinsed
2 ounces pancetta, chopped (optional)
1-2 medium summer squash, quartered and cut into thin strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c.  chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley
1 (15 oz.) can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add escarole and cook 3 minutes or until wilted, turning frequently. Trim white stem ends from each escarole quarter; roughly chop.
2. Wipe pan with a paper towel. Return to medium-high heat. Coat pan with a little more oil. Add pancetta (if using), summer squash, and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until squash is tender. Combine escarole, squash mixture, parsley,  and beans in a large bowl. Add vinegar and remaining ingredients, toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

The slightly sweet nature of fennel pairs well with radicchio's mild bitterness. The lemony olive oil vinaigrette and herbs keep the salad vibrant.
Makes 2 large servings

2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 c. pitted  kalamata olives,
1 medium fennel bulb
1 radicchio, leaves torn into small pieces
1/4 c. basil leaves, torn, if large
1 Tbs. chopped chives (optional)

1. Whisk together mustard, lemon juice, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a large bowl until well blended.
2. Trim the fennel bulb and remove tough outer layer. Halve the bulb lengthwise, then thinly slice (can use a mandoline for super thin slices).
3. Add fennel, radicchio, basil, and chives to vinaigrette in a bowl and gently toss until evenly coated. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Makes 12 tarts

2 tsp. coconut oil, melted, plus more for pan
2 c. pecans, walnuts, or almonds
5 Tbs. agave syrup, honey, or maple syrup, divided
2 Tbs. flour of choice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (you can use 1 tsp. vanilla extract if you don't have a vanilla bean, but if you can it is worth getting a bean... sooo delicious!)

1. Lightly brush 12 muffins cups with coconut oil. Set aside. Pulse nuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add the sweetener, flour, ginger, salt, and 2 tsp. coconut oil. Process until coarse dough forms. Gather into a ball. Press 1 heaping Tbs. dough firmly into bottom and up sides of each muffin cup. Chill for 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake crusts until firm and golden around the edges, 8-10 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before removing. DO AHEAD: can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
3. Place strawberries, lemon juice, and remaining 2 Tbs. sweetener in a medium bowl; scrape in vanilla-bean seeds (if using, and save the bean!) or add the vanilla extract. Stir well, crushing a few berries to release their juices.
4. Using a spatula or butter  knife, remove tart shells from pan and fill with scoops of strawberry mixture. Serve immediately.

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!)
[Date TBA; usually in October] - 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.)