Journal Post for the week of July 19, 2010

JULY 19, 2010

We are enjoying the rain that is falling this Monday morning – the farm really needed some rain. We have been irrigating but there is something to be said for irrigation that occurs from above – all over the farm – no hoses to move, no remembering to turn on and off the water, no hoses to move…the weather has been good – it rains and then we get sun for the next few days – it is good.

This morning Adam and I walked over to the carrots and picked some from the muddy earth. We laid them on the ground and they glowed their true orange carrot glow. It was like a treasure hunt – we showed the interns and Gail how to pick them – they are gorgeous! And they are only for CSA folks…they probably will not hit the farmers market. They are long and sweet and oh my – we can not wait to share them with you today. There are a few veggies we grow just for you and this is one of them – it is a bit tricky on our heavy soils:) But they do love their raised beds.

The melons are getting bigger in the field and the field and hoophouse tomatoes are turning ripe slowly bit surely – we are hoping to put a tomato in your baskets this week. You may have noticed that some other farms have ripe big delicious tomatoes already – we are about two weeks behind them but they are coming I can assure you. With all that needs to be planted in the spring – we try really hard to get everything in timely – the trick with hoophouse tomatoes is that we do not heat our hoophouse so we needed to wait until the sun warmed the hoophouse and no chance of frost – so we planted them in Mid May – hopefully next year we can get them in sooner. The peppers are starting to turn red, and there is an all you can eat Basil fest at the pickup right now. We need to clear out some of the overgrown basil in the hoophouse to get airflow – which means you can take as much basil as you like this week. Pesto-mania! Don’t worry we have more basil in field 🙂 Cilantro should be back next week and potatoes next week 🙂 We might have a hiatus on lettuce for the next couple of weeks – we need the next batch to get a little bigger.

Potty training is still going well. No diapers now for almost a month. Sadie loves playing in the rain while we pick veggies. She loves eating the pickling cucumbers right in the field. And thanks to all of our volunteers for helping this past week and for the members who donated their shares to Food for Thought this week (a great thing to do if you are away and if you don’t have a neighbor or a friend to pick up the veggies) .
Thanks again for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Red Leaf, Red Butterhead, Romaine Lettuce Heads, Fresh Carrots, Pickling Cucumbers (great finger food – Sadie loves them – they are the perfect size for her), Summer Squash and zucchini, Red or Green Cabbage, Orient or Italian Eggplant, Jalapenos or Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers, and Help yourself Basil! (Please note: sometimes things will change between the two pickups – Mondays vs Thursdays – dependant on weather)

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We have gorgeous organically-grown red raspberries at Stepping-Stone Farm at 36 Quaker Road in Grand Isle. Come pick as long as it is not raining or if the berries have had time to dry off in case it has rained. Please call if you want to pick (343-5497 or 372-3019) or come by to see if we are open. They are incredibly sweet and beautiful berries! We sold 50 pints at Saturday’s Farmer’s Market in Grand Isle. $3.50 a pint for pick-your-own or $5.00 pint picked for you.

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.

• Summer Squash and Zucchini when picked young have a sweet, nutty taste when they are sauteed or grilled. Just slice them in half the longway and put some olive oil on them then place them on the grill. These small ones can also be used to make bread and butter pickles, eaten raw in salad, and make great additions on pizzas (we love pizza in this house – Every Friday night we make homemade pizza and it is truly amazing all the great combinations we come up with). With the larger zucchinis you can cut them longways in half and scoop out the inside and stuff them, veggie burgers, make zucchini bread, make zucchini chocolate cake (yum), or freeze shredded zucchini into portions that you need for bread making, soups or whatever kind of recipe you will need later – this is great to have in January. Zucchini and summer squash can be used interchangeably and adds lots of moistness to baked goods.
Homemade Refrigerator Pickles –

1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups white sugar 6 cups sliced cucumbers
1 cup sliced onions
1 cup sliced green bell peppers
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil. Boil until the sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes.
2. Place the cucumbers, onions and green bell peppers in a large bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables. Transfer to sterile containers and store in the refrigerator

In a-Pinch Cucumber Salad adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

1 long or two short Armenian cucumbers or 3-4 lemon cukes
salt and freshly milled white pepper
2 to 3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh dill or parsley, chopped

Thinly slice cucumbers. Toss the cucumbers 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.


3 Tablespoons pine nuts or almonds, lightly toasted
1 Cup lightly packed basil leaves
2 Tablespoons Italian parsley leaves
1 lg. clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 Cup olive oil
parmesan cheese

In a food processor (or blender), combine nuts, basil, parsley, and garlic. Pulse, until well chopped. With motor running, add oil in a stream. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in cheese and salt to taste. Store with a thin layer of oil to keep fresh and green. (The parsley helps keep the bright green color too.)
SPECIAL BASIL storage notes: It shouldn’t get too cold, so try to find the ‘warmest’ place in your fridge. For some that’s the door, for others that might be the produce drawer. In my own fridge, the back of the fridge tends to get coldest…. I’ve read recently that wrapping the basil bunch in a damp clean cloth (I used an old clean cloth napkin) and put that in the ‘vegetable crisper’. It worked for me! If you’re not sure about your fridge you can try keeping your basil as a flower bunch in a jar with water at the stems. I don’t recommend drying basil: it’s best used up or made into pesto and then freezing the pesto if you want to keep the flavor for another week/month.


1 tsp.
1/2 tsp.
1/2 tsp.
2 tsp.
4 tbsp.
1/2 cup chopped garlic
basil leaves
Dijon mustard
white wine vinegar
olive oil

Whirl together the above ingredients, and toss with lightly steamed green beans and/or cooked potatoes, or? Then toss with: chopped walnuts and 3 sliced scallions.

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