VOLUME VI, JOURNAL IX
AUGUST 15, 2011
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Week 9- Happy Monday! So here I am at 1:15pm on Monday and trying to figure out what to share with you all about the past week and whats coming in the week to come. We have been quite busy – it is hard to have quiet time to write – I often things of wonderful importance or significance while I am picking tomatoes or gathering eggs. But then when I sit down – these thoughts of significance and a ha moments – are lost..maybe I will just keep typing and they will come. So here are a couple of thoughts from this week…
We planted more seeds this week for fall harvest. Adam is opening up more fields by plowing and discing them so they will be ready to go int he spring. We are also going to try making pre-made beds ao they are already made, with winterkill oats on them and around them so we can plant directly into them come April. It feels slightly weird to be talking about next year already but you have to – in farming you are always looking at the present but always need to think about the future – how will this one thing I do, affect xyz later this season, next season, etc. The corn and melons are looking great – looks like we may have them labor day or so. Even though the corn and melons are late- I’m, we’re, okay with that because we are still getting the food just a month later. At least we have food – so there is no complaints here. We now need some significant rain – a good drenching rain – to help with all the seeds that were planted and the plants to keep growing – when we picked potatoes today, the earth was so dry – so dry – our hay fields are dry – the grass is short and sparse in them so we need to two wait a few more weeks to get our second cut in. It looks like the storms keep going around our little island here – please rain, come stay for a little while. On rainy days we are able to catch up on things like canning, freezing, cleaning garlic, etc and maybe even squeeze a nap in alongside the little ones. It looks like the CSA will go to the middle of October this year since we had a late start due to the flooding. That just means there will be plenty to fall harvest yumminess for all of you.
As a family yesterday we went out to Shelburne orchards and picked 83lbs of peaches! In about 20 minutes – the picking was glorious and the fruit – Oh. My. Goodness. the juice runs down your chin and get that little bit of flush in upper part of your cheek. I can not wait to can them, bake and eat all of them. It was nice to go to another farm for a while and pick some yumminess. It was great to see Nick the farmer, sitting amongst his peach trees with a scale, bags, and a small cash box – smiling from ear to ear – seeing the throngs of people who came out to pick his ripe perfect peaches. It was great to pay him for our peaches with money we earned from selling our veggies the day before at market. Keeping money local – from one farmer to another. That smile that glee – I know that feeling. Its the feeling when 4:00 comes on a Monday and all of you are starting to pull in to pick up your veggies, or on a saturday morning when there is a line at our booth to get the freshest veggies of the day – or to smell and taste all the heirloom tomatoes – there is something so profoundly wonderful in it all – where all your senses are engaged – I guess that is why we are farmers – it engages all our senses, are whole body and soul. And to see a farmer in their glory, it makes you want to smile from ear to ear too.
We are currently working with the landowners of the land that we farm to go under contract to buy the land so Blue Heron Farm has a secure land base for years to come. What has triggered this is that one of the landowners wanted to sell their land. So we have started the work to secure where we live and graze our animals and buy some of Roy’s land where we vegetable farm. That will be 30 acres on Quaker Road. And we will be taking this to the next level by permanently conserving this land with the help of the Vermont Land Trust and the South Hero Land Trust and through conservation we will be able to afford this land – this land that we raise our family, our food, your food on. If we are not able to conserve this land, to sell our development rights – we would not be able to afford to buy this prime farm land here in the Champlain Islands. The Vermont Land Trust will be sending out info on how folks can help out with conserving Blue Heron Farm – so it can be farmed today, tomorrow and the future – to continue to have open land that can be farmed and not developed into house lots. At pickup today, they will be here to talk to folks who are interested in helping out.
Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Interns Ashlynn, Adora and past Intern Sophie
WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, Cucumbers, Buttery New Potatoes – Nicola, green beans, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, summer squash, TOMATOES, and maybe a few other things from the mystery box !
You have new potatoes in your share this week – enjoy them! With limited amounts of rainfall here in the islands this summer – and we do not have irrigation out to the potatoes – these are on the small side but oh so yummy and buttery. Nicola is the potato this week – a little waxy, buttery nutty – very yummy – you could quickly steam them and then add some fresh butter to them or put them on the grill in some tinfoil with herbs and some olive oil and butter – YUM! We hope you like them – they are our favorite.
Tzatziki Cucumbers from the Madison Area CSA Coalition
1 medium cucumber, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
8 oz. yogurt
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
Combine all ingredients, chill and serve. Makes 2-3 servings. Great for pitas, dips, yum!
In-a-Pinch Cucumber Salad adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
1 long or two short cucumbers , 1 ripe tomato
salt and freshly milled white pepper
2 to 3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh dill or parsley or basil or cilantro, chopped
Thinly slice cucumbers. Dice tomato up. Toss the cucumbers and tomato with a few pinches salt, pepper to taste, and enough oil to coat lightly. Add a few drops vinegar and the herb of your choice. Serves 4.
Unfried French Fries adapted from In the Kitchen with Rosie by Rosie Daley
2 pounds potatoes oil cooking spray
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon cajun spice or chile powder or curry powder….
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Slice each potato into 1/4 inch ovals lengthwise then each oval into matchsticks. Coat a baking sheet with 3 sprays of the oil spray. Combine egg whites and spice in a bowl. Add the potato sticks and mix to coat. Pour the coated potatoes onto the sprayed baking sheet (I use a jelly roll pan) and spread them out into a single layer, leaving a little space in between. Place baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the fries are crispy, turning them every 6 to 8 minutes with a spatula so that they brown evenly. Serve immediately.
Patchwork Roasted Potatoes The Grains Cookbook by Bert Greene
3 T toasted wheat germ
3 T fine fresh bread crumbs
3 T fresh grated Parmesan cheese
generous pinch of grated nutmeg
4 T unsalted butter
1 pound potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter a baking dish. Combine the wheat germ, bread crumbs, cheese and nutmeg in a shallow bowl. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan. Remove from the heat. Peel the potatoes and cut each in half lengthwise. Then cut each half lengthwise into 4 crescents (a total of 8 slices per potato). Pat the potatoes dry with paper towels, And toss them in the melted butter until well coated. Then roll the potatoes in the wheat germ mixture, and place on the prepared baking dish. Bake until crisp and tender, 45-50 minutes. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and serve. Serves 4
Tortilla de Patatas Adapted from The Mediterrasian Way by Ric Watson and Trudy Thelander
1 large potato or 3-4 smaller potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 scallions, chopped, or ½ red onion chopped
2 gypsy peppers, seeds removed and finely diced (or ½ large red bell pepper)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely chopped parlsey, or green onion tops!
½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Preheat the broiler. Steam the potato pieces until just soft enough to eat. (test with a fork. Start testing after about 4 minutes, depends on the size of the cubes) Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook onion and peppers, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potato and cook, stirring to combine, for another 2 minutes. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl with the parsley, salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the vegetables in the skillet, cover, and cook gently over low heat for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and place under the preheated broiler to cook for 1 minute or until the top is set. Cut into wedges and serve. This can easily be served at room temperature or cold.
Simple fresh salsa recipe – mariguita.com
red tomatoes diced fine (I use skins, seeds and all, but others like to remove at least the seeds.)
roasted jalapeños, skins removed, diced fine. (I put them under the broiler until blistering, then into a pyrex dish that has a tight fitting lid, then they steam for a few minutes, then remove the skins and they’re ready to dice.)
Onion, diced very fine
garlic, also diced very fine (this is optional, just a little)
cilantro, washed and chopped up
salt to taste Mix and eat.