Journal for week of July 22, 2013

Blue Heron Farm Journal

So what’s happening on the farm this week?

July 23 – Week 7- Things are growing.  Veggies,flowers, animals, birds, people – the sun has down some good work on the farm.  Yes, it is dry in parts which helps us get some of our crops in the ground,  that should have been in hmmm…  I’m pretty happy that there is food coming out of these fertile fields right now – yes we had had to till in half acre or so of veggies this early summer but you know, there is food coming – with patience – not throwing in the towel – yes, there are farmer up and down moments through out the day (deer found the sweet potato vines and we have baby green beans on the beans and we have 500 lbs of potatoes still need to be planted and wowee  we picked our first beautiful cherry tomatoes and the hay hasn’t been mowed yet ) the roller coaster of emotions at times are a bit much – but the important thing in a season like this is to take it in stride.  And breathe. And take a few deep breathes after a few swear words or take a deep breathe with a huge smile of relief and pleasure when you pick the first sweet ground cherries.  It’s important to take even strides and keep our head up – breathing, striding, patience and praying the farmers’ constant dance. and replanting.


The girls had a great time in Cape Cod last week – lots of fun at the beach, ocean, bay, pool, oh my and many aunties, uncles and their nana.  Much fun – thanks to everyone who helped out here while me and the girls were away.  Adam and I want to make sure the girls have lots of fun adventures while growing up on this little farm of ours.  These little trips away make them appreciate our farm a bit more – Mama, where is this meat from? Can we go to the farmers market and see what the farmers have? Mama, can we have fish tonight – because its fresh here.


We are loving these yellow, Nicola potatoes – we are frying them, boiling them, baking – oh yum.  Oh and the weather today is perfect. The other night we made eggplant parmesean over rigatoni with homemade ricotta, basil, green peppers, zuchinni, summer squash, garlic scapes, last years tomato sauce – oh my – so good – when we made this – we made two pans – one for that night and one for the next – perfect:)

Adam is getting fields ready with the tractor to plant fall crops, carrots, beets, cabbage, brocolli, peas, greens, potatoes and more…I think we are making pickles tonight after a pesto pasta veggie dinner..Hope you are all well- Apologies for not getting these newsletters out weekly, things have been hectic here and as these two little girls grow bigger – I don’t have as much time as I used too.  Also, we would gladly  take any recipes you have for future journals. 

We look forward to farming with you this season.   

Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Alicia and Yard


PS With the sun and some newly trellised field tomatoes – fingers crossed you should get some cherry tomatoes in your share on Monday;) and maybe some beans 🙂


Special events over the next few weeks:


Savor the Islands Summer Fruits Dessert Tasting @Hacketts Orchard, South Hero 1-4pm 7/28/13

Join Hackett’s Orchard and the Lake Champlain Islands Agriculture Network for the 2nd Annual Summer Fruits Dessert Tasting! Sunday, July 28th, 1:00-4:00 pm. Local farms and specialty food producers will be donating their best desserts, made with local ingredients, for a special dessert buffet!

By Donation. All proceeds to benefit Food for Thought

Savor the Islands” Summer Farm BBQ @ Pomykala Farm, Grand Isle 3-5pm, 8/11/13

Join the Lake Champlain Islands Agriculture Network and local farmers for a series of casual summer afternoon barbeques! Local ingredients sourced from and prepared by partner members of the network. By Donation. All proceeds to benefit Food for Thought, Suggested donation: $12 per adult, $7 per child. 


“Savor the Islands” Summer Farm BBQ @ Blue Heron Farm, Grand Isle 3-5pm, 8/18/13

Join the Lake Champlain Islands Agriculture Network and local farmers for a series of casual summer afternoon barbeques! Local ingredients sourced from and prepared by partner members of the network. Our third BBQ will be Sunday, August 18th at Blue Heron Farm in Grand Isle. By Donation. All proceeds to benefit Food for Thought. Suggested donation: $12 per adult, $7 per child. 



 What’s in the share this week: Salad Mix, Pickling Cukes, Slicing Cukes, Zuchinni, Summer Squash,Thai and italian basil, "Nicola"-a buttery yellow potato, Parsley, Heirloom Eggplants, Hot Peppers


Eggs for sale 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. 


Yarn for sale: We raise Border Leicester Romney sheep with certified organic practices in the Champlain Islands of Vermont on our small diversified, family farm.  Our sheep are rotationally grazed on lush pasture throughout the spring, summer, and fall.  In the winter, they hang out in the barnyard eating hay and playing on snow piles with our children. We think this is why they have such beautiful, soft, cuddly fleeces.  Our Yarn is spun right here in Vermont at the Green Mountain Spinnery.  At the spinnery they use  Certified Organic GREENSPUN process where the yarns are washed and spun with vegetable-based soaps and oils rather than the petroleum-based products standard in the textile industry. No chemicals are used to bleach, shrinkproof or mothproof. We are proud to have an ecological safe, organically raised yarn to share with you. Skein size is approx. 4 oz, & approx. 240 yards – Colors: Brown Earth, Snow and Oatmeal. $16 a skein  AND …2 oz skeins that are dyed in wonderful colors on our oatmeal yarn 🙂$12/Dyed Skein


Sheepskins for sale: These woolly sheepskins are from lambs and sheep we processed in the fall - we have white, brown and black beautiful fleeces available.  They are $150, formaldehyde-free.  Payment plans available and we take credit cards now.




Refrigerator Dill Pickles -


1/2 cup white vinegar, eyeball it

2 rounded teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped or snipped

1 bay leaf

1 clove cracked garlic

1 teaspoon salt



4 cucumbers, cut into 1-inch slices on an angle

Heat small saucepanover medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf, and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving. You can put in an old pickle jar or mason jar – glass is best so your plastic doesn’t become the smell of pickles.


Mama Farmer note: You can replace all the spices with a 1-2 tablespoons of pickling spice available at city martket in the bulk section or in any spice section in the grocery store.


Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

Pickling cucumbers to fill a gallon jar or mix in a large bowl or stainless steel pot and then divvy them up into smaller jars.
3 onions sliced
4 cups sugar
4 cups vinegar
1/3 cup plain salt
1 1/2 tsp each turmeric, mustard seed and celery seed

Combine sugar and vinegar in small saucepan over low heat to dissolve sugar.  Add spices.  Pack sliced cucumbers and onions in jar very tight, add liquid and spices, seal and refrigerate.

These bread and butter pickles are a wonderful little side dish to set out with just about any meal, but our firs
t love will always be adding them to sandwiches.


Note: The refrigerator pickles don’t need to marinate very long at all before they’re ready to eat, usually just 24 hours or so.  As to how long they keep … I’d say “the same as any other pickles in your refrigerator.”  They might become more mushy than crisp if you had them in the frig for a year, but I’ve never known them to go bad


Sweet Relish


6 lbs cucumbers [Do not peel]
4 cups onions
2 green peppers
1 red pepper
Grind and mix together with;
1/2 c canning salt
2 qts Boiling water.
Let stand for 1 hour.

Drain real well, then add the following,

1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. tumeric
1 pint vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. corn starch

Boil 1/2 hour and seal hot in pint jars. Can for 20 minutes in boiling water canner
Makes around 6 pints.

Zucchini with Basil and Pecorino Romano Cheese from Verdura by Viana La Place

1 1/2 pounds firm zucchini
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons freshly grated imported Pecorino Romano cheese
10 basil leaves

Wash the zucchini well. Trim the zucchini and slice into thin coins. Place olive oil in a large saute pan and turn the heat to high. Add the zucchini and toss in the oil until it is lightly golden in spots but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat to medium low, add the garlic and S & P to taste. Cook until the zucchini is tender but still has a trace of crispness. Transfer the zucchini to a serving platter. Sprinkle the grated Pecorino Romano cheese over the zucchini. Tear the basil leaves into fragments and scatter them over the top.

(Note from Julia: This is also good with other basils.  I didn’t have roasted peanut oil so I used 2 tbsp. peanut butter with 2 tbsp. canola oil and it worked fine.)

1/4 cup
2 1/2 tbsp.
1 tbsp.
1 clove
1/2 to 1
2 tbsp.
2 tbsp.
roasted peanut oil
rice vinegar
soy sauce
garlic, finely minced
serrano chile, diced
scallions, including an inch of green, thinly sliced
mint leaves, finely chopped
chopped basil (Thai or other)
chopped cilantro
pinch salt

Combine everything in a bowl and whisk together. Taste for salt.


It has a slight anise flavor and it’s sometimes known as anise basil.  Treat it the same as you would the genovese basil, and try it anywhere you would use ‘regular’ basil.  Thai basil can go with ANYTHING. Thai Basil is that basil you get in thai dishes.

Simple Pesto Recipe for Italian or Thai Basil

Whirl in your food processor or blender (blender method may need a bit more oil):   leaves and tiny stems from 1 bunch basil, 1/3 cup walnuts(any king of nut really or use sunflower seeds or leave it out), 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, 2 roughly chopped garlic cloves (or garlic powder in a pinch).  Then add with the machine running: 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil.   Season with salt and pepper. You can freeze pesto in a log in wax or parchment paper and slice off as you need it from your freezer.  We make these logs and enjoy pesto all winter long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top