Journal Post for July 8, 2013

Volume VIII, JOURNAL 4,5
                                                                                                                          July 8, 2013
       Blue Heron Farm Journal
So what’s happening on the farm this week?
Week 5- So here we are the beginning of July and it feels like the beginning of May.  The weather reporters say these are the wettest two months in Vt history. Is this the new norm?  Wow.  Anyways I could dwell on all the things that stink right now – lettuce under water, lettuce and chard being eaten by a herd of deer, peas are done mucky ground – but you know I eluded to this in an earlier email – I am going to talk about what is working.  We can do nothing about the rain – we have raised beds, we have done some impromptu ditching, our hoophouses are full, we have 22 hives here so everything is getting pollinated. So I am going to talk about what is working..
The zucchinis and summer squash are amazing! We kept up with the cuke and squash bugs – they are still out there but the plants were able to grow strong from all the ones we transplanted in the ground over 500 of them.  They are big a bushy and full of fruit and flowers. We are growing green zukes, yellow straight neck squash, yellow and white striped cross squash/zuke called sunbeam and finally my little patty pan squashes are back. And they are all ion your share today:) Also the squash blossoms that you can stuff and gently fry – don’t worry they are not taking from the fruit of the plant – they are the male flowers of the squash plant – only female flowers produce the fruit.  It was such a wonderful surprise when our crew picked almost 50lbs of zukes and squash Saturday morning for market:) And those squash blossoms flew out of the market.  We try really hard to pick them every other day if not everyday to keep their size small and tender.  Sometimes there are some bigger ones that hide under those leaves and with the burst of sunshine that has replaced the pitter patter – I think we will be picking tomorrow morning. 
Sadie and I went out to pick some green tail onions – these are young onions that we thin out of our storage onions – you can eat the white and green parts.  While we were there we looked at the cucumbers – and wowee – we picked about 5lbs of pickling cukes – so tender and juicy – we should have loads of cukes for you next Monday or if you happen to be at farmers market on Wednesday or Saturday – stop by our stand and we will give you some.  Sadie and I squatted down low in the squishy mud and listened to the glorious sound of the bees – very busy going from one flower to the next.  Sadie kept pointing out that she could see the bees getting the nectar out of each and  every flower. Bees are amazing at what they do – we are so blessed to be home for 22 hives this year:)
We planted some early eggplant in the hoophouse this year with the hoophouse tomatoes (adam and I picked 2 ripe cherry tomatoes on Saturday:)) and we picked some of those today for you and some baby eggplants from the other hoophouse with the idea that those plants will branch out more and therefore produce more eggplants and for that matter we did the same to the pepper plants today so you will have baby peppers and eggplants for your share today.  Also in your share you have a choice between thai basil and italian basil – both are great for pesto – thai basil is the basil you get in your thai noodles – it is yummy – try it out.
We should have sweet carrots soon! Thanks to our wonderful Monday morning weeders (hmmm I think a tshirt maybe in order) those carrots are looking amazing.  This morning – they came – despite the rain and weeded the large hoophouse.  We have a great group of volunteer members and we are thankful for all you hardwork.  There are a few farm events taht we want you all to know about.  We are members of the the Lake Champlain Islands Agricultural Network and we are hosting along with some other local farms some fun events this summer including one this weekend:
This weekend:
Join LCIAN for three family friendly farm tours duing the Open Farm and Studio Weekend. Join us on Sunday, July 14th from 10-2 at Blue Heron Harm in Grand Isle, Savage Gardens in North Hero, and Borderview Farm in Alburgh. We’ll  have tours, tastings, and fun acticvities! Free and open to the public.

Blue Heron Farm
34 Quaker Road
Grand Isle, VT
Savage Gardens
303 Savage Point Road
North Hero, VT
Borderview Farm
146 Line Road
Alburgh, VT

Free Community dinner at the Congregational Church of South Hero on South St from 5:30 to 7:00 this Friday July 12th.  The menu consists of local food BBQ with Island Ice Cream.  Truely free.  Come on down:) We will be cooking and grilling up some farm fresh produce:) These dinners happen the second Friday of every month.
In the next few weeks:
Savor the Islands” Summer Farm BBQ @ Savage Gardens, North Hero 3-5pm 7/21/13
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, to provide healthy local food to low income children in Grand Isle County. Suggested donation: $12 per adult, $7 per child. 
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. 
We look forward to farming with you this season.   
Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Alicia and Yard
 What’s in the share this week: Zuchinni, Summer Squash, Baby eggplant, Baby sweet and hot peppers, Thai and italian basil, Squash Blossoms, Green onions
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
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.
Stuffed Squash Blossoms:
Gently pull open the blossoms and gently put a soft cheese of your choice ( I like goat cheese, cream cheese or ricotta). eat up a cast iron pan with a bit of oil (sunflower or canola - olive oil in a pinch). dip the filled or not filled blossom  into egg and cornmeal or bread crumbs or flour and put in hot oil - cook about 30 secs to a minute each side - delicious. 
You can also eat squash blossoms raw or toss in a stirfry or pasta at the last minute. 
Sara’s Great Frittata Recipe:

2 lbs summer squash
Green onions(healthy fistful chopped)
Basil leaves(fistful again)
2 garlic cloves
4 eggs
1/4 Cup oil
1 Cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 Cup parnesan/pecorino cheese

The summer squash, green onions, and basil make a wonderful frittata.In the main bowl of a food processor, grate about two pounds of summer squash. Put the squash in a colander and lightly salt. Leave to drain, and put the chopping blade in the food processor. Add a healthy fistful of onions and the leaves from a bunch of basil. Toss in a couple garlic cloves if you have them, and pulse until well chopped. In a big bowl, mix around a cup of flour with a couple teaspoons of baking powder and about a half cup of grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese. Lightly beat four eggs and a quarter cup of oil (if you’re feeling decadent and there are no vegetarians in the crowd, add a couple spoonfuls of bacon grease). Put the grated squash in a thin clean dishtowel or heavy duty paper towel and squeeze out excess liquid. Combine all the ingredients in the big bowl. You should have a thick, fragrant batter. Pour the batter into a greased 13×9 baking pan and sprinkle a little more cheese on top. Bake at 375 degrees until golden, about 30-45 minutes (it depends on the moistureleft in the squash). When cool, cut into squares and serve. These make great appetizers or savory treats at a tea or coffee!

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