Journal Post Week of June 25, 2012

Volume VII, JOURNAL IV                                                                              June 25, 2012

       Blue Heron Farm Journal
So what’s happening on the farm this week?
So this past week has been quite eventful here at the farm.  We are in full swing of picking Peas - snow and sugar snap peas. Wow, I don't think we have ever had this many.  Luckily a lot are getting in the crates and lots are going in our bellies.  With the heat from last week - these peas are pushing them out and with the rain (finally) today - oh my - these peas you eat the whole thing (well you could skip the stem).  I believe that Sugar Snap Peas should be eaten raw - fresh from the field or cooled down from the fridge - yum!  They make great snack and kids (and adults) love them. One of our interns, Mandy, stuffed a bunch in her bag and shared them with friends while strolling the farmers market in Burlington.  They are quick and easy snack - great with hummus - great by themselves - great for babes who are teething.  The Snow Peas can also be eaten raw but are also wonderful in stirfries, used as a dip delivery device and chopped and put in rice, couscous or on top of pizza.  I think I have put every vegetable we grow on our pizza...grilling pizza is so good.  WE have pizza night every friday night and you never know what is going to be on them until that day:) Grilling pizza is easy - just make dough (or pick some up at Wallys), make the size that will fit on your grill, lightly oil both sides and when bothe sides are pretty much cooked (doesn't take long about 2 or 3 minutes per side) add your toppings - yum.
I think in the shares next week you will receive kohlrabi, napa cabbage and a few other new veggies..we finally were able to get more arugula in the ground over the weekend so in about 2 -3 weeks we'll see that and some hakeri turnips (remember those little white turnips that tasted like a cross of turnips and radishes).  Speaking of radishes, they have gone to flower and we will harvest their seed pods which are yummy snacks or great for stirfries.  We think our soils like growing the pods and not the radishes.  The beets are starting to size up - we thinned them a bit more and that is why you are getting beet greens today.  Beet greens are chock full of beta-carotene, iron, and many other minerals.  You can eat the raw, stirfry them, I like putting them in lasagna, in eggs, in sandwiches. Oh my.. Adam hilled the potatoes - we are thinking we will have new potatoes, zucchini and summer squash in about 2 or so weeks.  He also ate his first ripe cherry tomato out of the hoophouse 🙂
As some of you know, the nana van (our delivery vehicle) bit the dust over the spring.  It has now moved on to particpate in the Franklin County Field Day Demolition Derby on July 26th in the mini-van division.  How sweet is that to go off into scrap metal as your last hurrah being the demo derby. So we got a new van, well new to us, 2002 grand caravan - drove it to Burlington last week to get it registered on thursday - remember thursday - 100 degrees in the islands - umm...100plus in Burlington.  When I came out of the DMV excited with new plates - ready to use the AC to get us home...there was a huge puddle of water on the underside of the van and when I turned it on even more came out.  Oh I pulled the carseats out lugged them, two diaper bags and 2 little kids (thankful for the ergo) to Barnes and Noble (we were quite the site, in my farmer jeans) and waited for sweet Aimee (from Cochran family farm) come to pick us up and have AAA tow the van to Dick's Repair shop in Grand Isle.  Just got off the phone with Roger - and the van is fine!  Thank goodness! Because of all the heat and humidity on Thursday - that is what left the enormous puddle and water flowing from the engine compartment.  You know when you buy a used just never know...but he checked everything and all the fluids are just as he left them a week and half ago.  So now we have a delivery van and a field trip van with kiddos and interns..oh sweetness..thank you universe.
Also over the week we had folks from Women's Agricultural Network (WaGn) and Across the Fence show come and interview us about being a start up farm ready to go onto its next phase - purchasing our land and really establishing our markets through our diversification on the farm.  It was a hot day.  Beth and Mark, the producer were quite patient with Sadie and Delia crawling over this mama while the interview occurred. Mark will be back to see a CSA pickup in action and maybe even talk with some of you.  We were also able to donate over 40lbs of Veggies to Food for Thought  for the summer lunch program for the Islands.  Families in this program are totally psyched to be getting fresh local produce.
On the animal front, Annie is dried off completely and enjoying her vacation, grazing, taking naps, chewing her cud..enjoying her time before her baby is born in August.  The sheep and their lambs are clearing their pastures in about 2 days so we are moving fence every two and half days because the lambs are now grazing too.  During the heat wave, we lost 140 of our heritage meat birds over night - due to over heating.  Chickens like to snuggle, even when its hot out, and they basically over heated themselves - they had plenty of water, shade, food - it was awful site to wake up to.  The interns took in stride and helped compost the birds.  My first thoughts were that of sadness - what could I have done as the farmer to have prevented this? I guess you live and learn - they were a week away from being processed.  Because of this we set up our market tent for more shade and had a sprinkler going for a couple of days to keep the rest cool and not stressed.  It is hard to raise chicken naturally out on a pasture - owls, hawks, weasels, and now heat. We have 80 birds left and we will be raising more now that we lost all of these.  They were beautiful birds - they will be missed.
With all the interns, Jen and her nephew - we got all the hay in from first cut on Friday morning.  510 bales. There was a lot of water drunk and gatorade.  Our arms are all scratched up and we think we are few pounds lighter from all the sweat.  Luckily, Earl comes with a kicker wagon so almost all the baled get kicked into the wagon.  AT the end, we took one of the large metal hay wagons out with our whole crew and Mandy and Annie ran around the field (umm this was Friday in the heat) and threw bales on while we kept the wagon going through the field.  Harley got some great action photos of it and we will post them on the blog soon.  I think it was part delirium when that running occurred - it was great fun:) Then we jumped in the lake, after getting the sheep back in their fence..
Have a great week-
Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Jen, Mandy, Annie, Harley and Sophie 
 What’s in the share this week: Sugar Snap Peas, Snow Peas, Luscious Lettuce Mix, Lettuce Heads,  Garlic Scapes, cilantro,  Beet Greens and some toher treats,
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. 
Sesame Snap Peas
1/2 pound snap or snow peas, trimmed and strings discarded
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 scallion, sliced thinly on diagonal
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted lightly
Salt as needed/wanted
Slice snap peas into 2 or 3 sections with a sharp knife. Saute in a pan with the oil on med high heat until bright green. (it’s ok if some of the peas come out). When serving, sprinkle with the scallions and sesame seeds. Add Salt if desired.
Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

1/2 lb sugar snap peas
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
S & P to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut off rough edge of peas and a bit of the string along the side (your preference how much). Spread peas onto baking sheet so that they are in a single layer. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with shallots, thyme and salt.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Servings: 4
May, 1997 Original article and recipes by Diana Shaw
Have a bowl of ice water ready to “shock” the drained peas and prevent further softening and shriveling.
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups loosely packed sugar snap peas (about 1 pound), stems snipped off and strings removed if needed
Bring 6 cups water to brisk boil in 3 or 4 quart saucepan. Add salt and peas and cook until crisp tender, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes depending on size of peas. Drain peas, shock in ice water, drain again, and pat dry. (Peas can be set aside for up to1 hour. See recipes below for seasoning ideas.)
Serves 6 Because you must judge the color of the butter as it cooks, avoid dark colored pans like unlined anodized aluminum or nonstick for this recipe.

2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 recipe Blanched Sugar Snap Peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper

1. Toast hazelnuts over medium heat in small skillet, shaking pan often to promote even cooking, until just fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Heat butter over medium heat in medium sauté pan until it browns to color of brown sugar and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Take care not to burn. Add peas, sage, and nuts; toss to combine. Cook until just heated through, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.

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