Blue Heron Farm Volume V Journal I – 2010

Welcome back to our returning members and a big welcome to our new members! We are so excited and honored to be growing food for nearly families 50 families – including yours. We have been very busy this spring and early summer planting, weeding, irrigating (lots of drip line to save the lettuce and other young greens), transplanting – the spring has flown by. New this year we have four amazing apprentices who will be living and working on the farm for the summer and into the fall. Emily is from Vermont and just graduated from Alfred University in NY. Joe is from Vermont also and is going into his senior year Dartmouth College in NH. Sophie is from Pennsylvania, came to us after her journey to Israel, and is going into her senior year at UVM. And Eric, who is back from a service trip to India, is from Texas and just graduated St Michael’s College. They will be living in the back pasture with sheep and chickens as their neighbors in large canvas tents. Our hope is to impart on them our love of community, farming, feeding people and trying to live sustainably while raising a family in Champlain Islands. More news next week about the farm – way too many yummy recipes to include:)

So, Thank you for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris

Luscious Spinach, pac choi, red or green kale, lettuce mix, cilantro, a little rhubarb, garden plants if you like (on farm pickup)

Adam and I have collected and read many farming, food and agriculture books and we would like to share them with you. There is a sign out sheet in the farmstand – we have books like Omnivore’s Dilemma, Harvest, cookbooks, etc.

We have the pretty girls’ eggs for sale – these are free-range, certified organic chicken eggs that are brown, green and blue – with the brightest yellow/orange yolks you ever seen. The eggs are $5.00 a dozen.
Christine’s Note: Honestly everything this week can be eaten raw – tossed in a salad all together – well maybe not the rhubarb – that is a bit sour tasting. The greens including the pac choi can be lightly sauted with a little olive oil, some tamari (soy sauce) or steamed. You can add these items in uncooked ine mac and cheese, omelets, quiches, pizza, really anything – including smoothies.

Sweet Maple and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing(Angelic Organic Kitchen)

1 c. olive oil
3 TBL maple syrup
2 TBL balsamic vinegar

1 TBL freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teasp dry mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
freshly ground pepper

Combine the oil, maple, vinegar, , lemon juice, dry mustard and garlic in a large jar. With the lid tightly screwed on, shake the jar vigorously until the oil and vinegar have thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste and shake again to combine. Store the dressing in the fridge for up to two weeks. To serve, toss it with salad greens or grilled or steamed vegetables.

Rhubarb Soda By Carrie Floyd, from the Culinate Kitchen collection

1½ cups rhubarb, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
1½ cups water
~ Sparkling water
~ Ice
Place rhubarb, sugar, and 1½ cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the syrup is bright pink. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Strain syrup into a large jar. To make each soda, measure ¼ cup rhubarb syrup into a glass. Add enough sparkling water to fill the glass ⅔ full. Stir to mix, then add ice.
White Beans and Greens Bruschetta By Kim Carlson, from the Culinate Kitchen collection

2 cups cooked white beans, drained
2 small garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. crushed red-pepper flakes
~ Salt
1 bunch kale
4 slices sourdough bread, or 8 slices rustic baguette
In a medium bowl, gently combine the beans, garlic, rosemary, ¼ cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and red-pepper flakes. (Be careful not to break up the beans.) Set aside for at least an hour, to allow the flavors to blend. Fifteen minutes before serving, stack the kale leaves on a cutting board and slice into ½-inch ribbons. Heat a wok (not nonstick) or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes; add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the kale, and stir-fry until the leaves are wilted and the stem sections are no longer tough, about 8 minutes. Brush bread slices on both sides with remaining olive oil; grill or broil until browned but not crunchy. To serve, top bread with beans and greens.

Spiced Spinach with Almonds From the book The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Culinate editor’s notes: Adding spices, almonds, and currants to spinach revitalizes a familiar vegetable and turns it into a substantial side dish. As Kasper notes, you can also make this 17th-century recipe with kale, turnip and radish greens, chard, beet greens, dandelions, and escarole. Just parboil these more sturdy leaves first before proceeding with the recipe. Kasper recommends using the spiced spinach to stuff poultry or pasta, but it’s also good with baked fish. The cheeses or nuts can be left out if desired.
2 lb. fresh spinach, stems trimmed to base of leaves, or other greens (see Note)
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup minced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon, or to taste
~ Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg, or to taste
5 Tbsp. blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
2 Tbsp. currants
½ cup (4 oz.) ricotta
~ Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (4 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
Wash the spinach, but do not dry it. Set the spinach in a pot with the water that clings to its leaves and cook, covered, over medium heat until the leaves are wilted but still a bright green. Drain the spinach and shock it in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again. Squeeze out the excess moisture and coarsely chop. Sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the spinach, cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds, and currants. Sauté another 2 minutes, or until heated through. Stir in the ricotta and warm it through. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and serve. Notes If using mature greens with thick stems, remove the stems. The stems of chard and beet greens can be cut into squares and cooked with the leaves. Fibrous greens like dandelion and winter kale should be parboiled until just tender, then shocked in ice water and drained.

Rhubarb Crumble From the Matthew Amster-Burton collection
Filling Topping
1 lb. (about 4 stalks) rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 oz. (⅛ cup) sugar
¼ oz. (½ Tbsp.) butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. arrowroot starch or cornstarch,
dissolved in a couple of teaspoons of water
2½ oz. (½ cup) all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
2 oz. (4 Tbsp.) butter, cold and diced
1¼ oz. (¼ cup) sugar
1¼ oz. (¼ cup, loosely packed) brown sugar
¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
¼ cup rolled oats (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the filling ingredients in a saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the sugar is well dissolved, about five minutes. Turn out into a small baking dish, such as a pie plate or square baking pan. Combine the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture with your hands until you achieve a coarse, powdery texture. Stir in the sugars and the optional nuts and oats. Pour the topping evenly over the rhubarb fil
ling. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and well-browned. Let cool at least five minutes before serving; serving at room temperature is fine. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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