What’s happening on the farm this week?
Week 14: Hi everyone – we have a few announcements to make in this issue – Please hold on to it and read it – What’s going on at the farm, next hoedown, what the next couple of weeks look like, last pickup week/date for CSA, grass fed beef shares.
We mowed all of our red, blue, yellow and fingerling potatoes down on Monday – they were starting to show signs of blight and as Adam said “better not be greedy” – they probably could have grown longer but we did not want to take the chance. The Kennebec storage potatoes are still growing quite vigorously and we left them standing. We will be harvesting all of the potatoes – with exception to the Kennebecs – over the next few weeks while they cure in the ground. We let them cure in the ground so their skins and toughen up and will be better storage potatoes and will not bruise as easily. The ones you have been getting are freshly dug, have no curing time and will keep okay in a crisper or cool dark place for a short time – these are what you would call “new potatoes”. The yellow potatoes this week are called “Nicola” they are new to us – they are so buttery – we have roasted them on the grill and have also sliced them for French fries – both were very yummy. Also, with organic potatoes – you should keep their skins on them – or how Europeans say “keep their jackets on” – there is a ton of vitamins and minerals just in the skin. Wash them and them cook them up – very yummy and the skins are so tender you can’t even tell they are there. We also picked the last of the field peppers- they were showing signs of blight as well and Adam mowed those down – the tomatillos like the new fresh air and more space they have around themJ We will be planting cover crops to help rebuild and protect the soils. Thanks to Gail and Fiona we got a bit of weeding done with the Basil and carrot beds. We hope you have experimented with the okra – it is a rarity in these parts – Sadie likes to eat it rawJ
The next Blue Heron Farm Hoe-Down will be Sunday, September 27th at 3:00pm – potluck, music, games and hay rides on a now fixed hay wagon. The last hoe down brought fiddles, harmonicas, guitars, bag pipes, accordion, and many silly dances on the hay wagon by all these little farm kiddos. The weather should be a lot cooler and we will have a bon fire this time. We are planning on having it back behind our property near the sheepJ Bring family and friends, food and drink to share, an instrument – all are welcome.
Over the next few weeks, we will be trying the best we can to fill your baskets. The last CSA pickup this year will be the week of September 28th – the 17th week. We will make your baskets twice as full with storage groups to make it a two week pickup. Seniors shares will continue until the first week of October. If some of the crops look like they will mature and not be ready by then, we will have a “call back” sometime in October – we will know this that last week.
This growing season has been a roller coaster. We figure we have had 5 great growing seasons and now this one Mother Nature has decided to “christen” us in. We also figure that we can handle a season like this now – and not give up. We have learned much this growing season and we will put what we learned into the seasons ahead. We are looking to buy in winter squash and beets from another organic farm – we will put them in you share if we get them. What is comforting to know is that we are not the only farm who is struggling this growing season – even farms that have been in existence long before us are struggling with growing crops this year. It is weird to say this but it makes us feel better – that is the weather, our clay soil – we did the best we could – and this is good. This year was not a total washout – we had beautiful and plentiful peas, spinach, broccoli, and others – sometimes you get tunnel vision of where you right now – and I think it is important – that you still look back and to the sides on the this roller coaster rideJ
Thanks for being part of our farm, see you next week – Adam, Christine and Sadie J
What’s in the share this week: Clemson Spineless Okra, Yellow, Red and Blue Potatoes, Red Heirloom tomatoes (the last of them) Peppers (sweet/hot), Red and Yellow Onions, Garlic, Pears, Pick-Your-Own Heirloom Mexican Midget Cherry Tomatoes (they are still holding on) and maybe some other treatsJ
Please note: this is what we intend to have in your share as of Monday morning, very early – sometimes there will be changes that day our difference between Monday and Thursdays pickups . I print all the newsletters at one time. Thanks for understanding.)
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Wool Roving for Sale:
From our sheep – we have Border Leicster Romney Crosses, Icelandic and Shetland Sheep. It is $15 for 6 ounces (special price for CSA members).
To help plant, trellis, and weed – please call us 372-3420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks
Grass fed Beef Shares Now Available:
Blue Heron Farm and Rob Rousseau, farmer in North Hero, have partnered again this year to offer grass fed beef shares this year. Rob has been farming all of his life and his grass fed beef are delicious. We have been getting a share from him the last 3 years and have not bought beef from the store in over 3 years. The cows are able to range on over 150 acres of pasture at his family farm. They are on pasture their whole life. He does not use antibiotics or growth hormones. He does not feed them grain to “fatten” them up. The beef has a sweet taste to it – you can tell they have been on pasture. These cows have had great lives. They are Hereford crossed with Angus and maybe some Highland (I have to double check with RobJ).
The beef will be ready over the next couple of months. He had 6 cows to sell – which means 12 halves. He sells it by hanging weight. The price will include processing and putting the cuts of beef in frozen, freezer paper wrapped,1-2 lb packages. You will receive hamburg, stew beef, tenderloin, sirloin, top round, ribs, cube steak, soup bones, london broil, roasts, etc. The price is 2.75 per lb hanging weight. This price may go down – it is dependant an the cost of processing. This is the best deal around for grass fed beef.
I have learned a lot about beef processing over the last few years and have asked lots of questions – so here is some info you should know. Hanging weight is the weight that is taken when the beef is hanging after it has been gutted, skin, hooves and head are removed – sorry for the graphic but it important for you to know. The beef needs to hang in the meat cooler for a few weeks and when this happens, there is shrinkage. There is typically about 15- 20% shrinkage from the hanging weight depending on the fat of the cow. So the hanging weight is different from the weight you bring home. For example: last year, we processed a full cow that was 615lbs hanging weight. What we brought home was around 430-440lbs of beef (that was a whole cow). The processing house treats the animals humanely and is USDA inspected and it even has an organic processor license. You can see the cows grazing on Rte 2 in North Hero, South of Shore Acres.
If you are interested in a beef share, please fill out the bottom and send with a $50 deposit by October 15th. The deposit will be deducted from the final price. IF you have any questions, please feel free to call Christine at 372-3420.
Please cut the bottom off and return with payment
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I would like the following (please circle):
½ Cow – which is around 150 – 200 lbs of beef ( est. 200 -300lbs hanging weight)
Whole cow – which is around 300 – 400lbs of beef( est 500-600 lbs hanging weight)
¼ Cow – which is around 75 – 100lbs of beef (est 100 – 150lbs hanging weight)
Please enclose a deposit of $50. Please make the check out to Rob Rousseau. Mail to Blue Heron Farm, 34 Quaker Rd, Grand Isle, VT 05458
Rest of Payment due at pick up of cut, wrapped and frozen beef sometime in October/November. Limited Payment plans available.