Sunday, February 16, 2014

2014 CSA Brochure and Sign up

Here is the link for our 2014 CSA brochure and signup.

CSA sign up time for 2014 Season:)


Hello to all returning and potential CSA members, neighbors, friends and family!

The days are getting a bit longer, the sun is actually shining even though it is 14 degrees out but - it's time, it's time ..Here we are - nearing the end of February - seed starting time and CSA sign up time! Delia asks, "Mama, is it baby chick time?" Soon, sweet girl, soonJ

This year we celebrate the Farm's big  birthday - 10 years old! To be 10 years old as a small family farm is a big feat these days.  Wowee - where has all the time gone - a csa, amazing island farmers market, cows, sheep, chickens, two children 4 hoophouses, a barn, farmstand, 30 acres, so many more friends and full bellies - wow we have been busy! We are incredibly blessed to have all the support over the last 10 years! We hope to have birthday celebrations all year long - watch out for them. And with two little girls to help plan them - these events should be amazingJ

We have been busy this winter taking care of the animals and planning for the growing season to come. Adam is on the farm full time now with some teaching in these winter months at CCV.   Sadie, 6, is working on her Kindergarten year at home with us and she is very active in her dance classes at Miss Liza's, 4H, girl scouts, yoga,  and book club. Sadie has a big heart and loves  volunteering in her community. Sadie is an eager learner and a tremendous big sister to Delia.  Delia, 3, is doing most of the same activities with her big sister and she is starting to write her name and make the most beautiful people pictures with the biggest smiles on them.  Delia is counting down the days til we have a dog of our own as she is a lover of all animals.

So, How are you ?- what have you been up to?  Sorry we haven't written more this winter - but as I am realizing writing with two children and a farm - are quite hard to do.  You all have been in our thoughts thoughJ

We have been doing research on holistic whole farm management, permaculture and nutrient dense crops this winter and for the last few years.  We are trying to build our farm to be more resilient during these changing climatic times. This year we are going to use the knowledge and skills we have been honing to grow our/your food more holistically and provide the best, most nutrient dense food we can grow. Over the last few years, our soils have taken quite a beating with the extreme weather conditions. By working toward balancing soil minerals and fostering a thriving soil biology, we can take our farm to the next level-not to get bigger, but to grow in a more symbiotic way with our farm's life and soil and protect against future weather extremes. This means we will grow even tastier and more nutritious vegetables, eggs, milk and meat!  With your continued support, we can keep feeding you and your family, our family and our community at large. We continue on working our dream of growing a diversified family farm with produce, grazing sheep for fiber  and meat, sweet cows for raw milk and beef,  poultry for eggs and meat, apprenticeships, and educational programs. We strive to have our farm have a symbiotic relationship with the people, land, grazing animals, and produce of the farm.

We will be offering 50 shares again  this year.  We will have the Individual, Full and Salad Shares available. There is still the sliding scale, financial aid is available(through NOFA-VT and the farm), we will take EBT for payments, payment plans, credit cards,  possible bartering, pro-rated summer resident shares and prices will not go up. We can make deliveries but there needs to be 10 or more full or individual shares in that one location.  Looking to get a birthday or anniversary present? Why not a BHF CSA share - It's the gift that gives over 18 weeks of delicious organic food.  Or would you like to donate a share to a family in need or buy veggies to be sent to the food shelf or Food for thought - we can do that tooJ
We also have 1 to 2 CSA Individual share membership to barter to 1 person or family that can commit to working 8 hours a week.  Please get in contact with us if you are interested in this. We will also have CSA member work days scheduled once a month where you can come out to the farm and help us with big labor projects that are family friendly. Also, this year we will continue to work on and post on our farm blog www.blueheronfarmvt.com and we are pretty active on facebook too - please "friend" us.

 We want to continue to make organic produce affordable to all and be able to pay our costs. With members buying upfront their vegetables for the season, it helps our costs immensely and we can budget for the rest of the season. We would like to get payment by April 15th. If any of you can pay sooner than that, that would be great since most of our buying is right now through March (I know, I know I should have mailed this in January). Shares will start the first or second week in June. **For those who pay by March 15th – you will be entered to win 5 dozen of eggs or a skein of our organic yarn or those who refer someone to our CSA, you will be entered to win also - the more you refer - the more chances to win.  Just have those people write your name at the bottom of the 2014 membership registration.

We value your support and friendship. If these costs are a hardship, please call us and we can come up with a payment plan. We are also hoping to provide 5 supported shares for families who are in need of this. If you are in need of financial aid this year please let us know and we will get you the financial aid info for a  supported share.  Also we are accepting donations for the Farm Share program that supports our farms supported shares. Last year we were able to give financial support to 4 families from our community and provide extra food to the Round Barn through generous donations from our members. Our goal is to raise $500 for supported shares so NOFA-VT will match it and make a share more affordable to families in our community. If you would like more info, please give us a call. You can send the donation in with your registration form or send it directly to NOFA-VT with “Blue Heron Farm supported share” in the memo.

Because of you, our CSA members, we are able to outreach to our community here in Grand Isle County with food and goodwill.

Last year, we had our sixth year with the Senior Shares at the Round Barn here in Grand Isle. We delivered fresh veggies to 16 residents for 10 weeks and have had community dinners with them once a month since October. We are looking to expand this for this upcoming year and look forward to having them out at the farm with us. If you would like to join us for our monthly lunches, just let us know and we will let you know when they are.  We will continue this program again this year with the hopes of expanding it.

Also, we donated and sold, at a reduced rate, a bunch of food for the Food for Thought program last year, which fed over 125 children in Grand Isle County for 12 weeks. Each week, Blue Heron Farm was able to donate or sell  fresh veggies. Our farm plans to help out again with this year by donating veggies and if any of you would like to help with volunteering on those Sundays, delivering food to families, growing veggies here at our farm or your own place, buy a CSA share for this program, donate money (see our registration form) or with financial support please call Kaight at 372-5843 or give us a call.

We will also be working on growing certain crops for the food shelf here in the county.  If you would like to help with any of this, let us know.  There are times - for example - last summer, a bunch of lettuce mix came up that was ready and we had way too much to sell or give to you all.  We called a few people and folks came out and we harvested over 75lbs of lettuce mix, that we washed, spun, and bagged and brought to the Grand Isle Food Shelf.  None of it went to waste, it didn't get plowed under, it went right to people in our community.  We are always looking for folks who would like to help come glean veggies for the food shelf - let us know if you are interested.

Thank YOU!

We couldn’t do this without all of you. It is because of you, we made it through last year with the hope for this growing season. Adam, Sadie, Delia and I look forward to walking out to the chickens with you and your children, meeting our sheep and their lambs in the pasture, mooing to Miss Annie, Annabelle and Miss Maggie(oh and Sumac and Max), picking ground cherries, uncovering treasures of potatoes and carrots from the earth, and enjoying that you know where your food comes from.

When we sit and plan this year and reflect over the last 10 years(!) – we are truly blessed to have this as our work. We are honored that we are one of your farmers and you are our community. Hope you are all well. We have enclosed this year’s CSA brochure. Please pass to a friend if you are going to fill out the electronic version. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you walking in the fields - smelling the basil, having tomato juice run down your cheeks and eating fresh sweet peas again .

 

Your friends/farmers at Blue Heron Farm,

 

Adam Farris, Christine Bourque, Sadie and Delia Farris

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Journal Post

 Hello CSA members!

 

******CSA for next week is moved to TUESDAY pickup from 4 to 630 so the farmers can go to an intensive pastured pig workshop on the other side of the state from 1 to 7pm (we need to leave the farm at 1130) - its an amazing opportunity for us with really experienced farmers and out of state speakers. You can check it out at www.nofavt.org .  No change to the Tuesday deliveries.

 

We will pick everything on Monday but will have pick up on Tuesday. 

 

Monday morning volunteers please still come on Monday - we need your help picking and weeding.********

 

 

We hope you enjoyed or enjoying the sweet corn!  We were so excited to pick over 200 ears on Monday for you all. We were also able to give corn to the other CSA program we belong to and the senior share.  We are hoping we will have more next week.  Organic sweet corn is tricky - between the fencing and electric to keep the raccoons out and dealing with corn worms.  (ps if you do get a corn worm just cut around it) timing it so it doesn't tassle at the same time as cow corn next to us, transplanting at the right time, etc. We are excited to have our very own for you this year :) Please enjoy it.

 

The hoophouse tomatoes cherry and full size are coming on strong and oh those ground cherries are sooo sweet.  This monday there will be a new crop of lettuce mix - much more tender as the days are shortening and greens are becoming sweeter. We ate our first spaghetti squash last night yum!  The BBQ was amazing - wonderful food, friends, music - we had over 130 people:) I think our little farm raised over $800 for FFT.   It was great to have people walk the fields and meet the chickens and sheep.  We still have the maps and the signs up so you can always take a walk around the farm - grab a map at the farmstand and follow the trail:)

 

See you all Tuesday and see volunteers on Monday!

 

-Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Alicia and Yard

Friday, August 16, 2013

Journal Post

Hello everyone-
 
Sorry I haven't sent an email out lately things have been very busy here.  We have fall brassicas weeded and they are looking wonderful - they are in the front field behind the green house.  We have another field of green beans that will be ready in a couple of weeks along with beets and carrots and dill.  The days are getting shorter - and it seems very weird that in a few short weeks we will be heading into September.  We are hosting a BBQ this weekend - a benefit for Food for Thought - and an opportunity to have folks on farm fields eating farm fresh food. We would love to have you all come - we are planning on some live music too - Sadie and Delia are so excited to host you all:)  I think they are making us all where aprons.  :)  If there is anyone who would like to help with serving, set-up, or clean-up please email me back.  We had a great turnout for the Pomykala BBQ last week over 165 people came and we were able to raise $1100 for Food for thought.  It is wonderful how farms work together to feed people - it was a great honor to be part of the Pomykala BBQ and be on their farm and we look forward to having their crew here this weekend.  :) Neighbors helping neighbors.
 
Why grilled pizza at a BBQ?  It is a tradition in our home here on Blue Heron Farm to have Friday night pizza night and its open to whoever is here or passing by.  The toppings are dependent on what is fresh on the farm that week or what we put up for the winter, minus the treat of pepperoni:)  So when we were trying to figure out what we were going to have  for the BBQ, Yard and Sophie said why not out Friday night pizza? And the Quiches are something that is quick and easy for us to make when the crew is hungry and needs to be fed a hardy meal.  The salads are what we have on hand and some wild foraging around these beautiful acres.  And oh my, when we got our cow Annie, so much rich milk, we started to make cheese and made ricotta and oh, I remember ricotta cheesecakes from my childhood and the ricotta cheesecake was born from Annie's rich milk and our ladies' eggs. We figured we would feed you how the farmers eat.
 
 And did you know that When we first started our CSA 8 years ago - in our second year we had an ice cream share from Gary and Patty of Island Ice Cream - it was a hit - Adam ate many pints of ice cream that summer:) And we have known Gary and Patty since their Sunburger days and when this mama used to be a volunteer firefighter;) Also, Did you know that Adam worked at Pomykala farm for a summer - 10 years ago this year - right before our wedding - and we have always loved their melons and sweet William bouquets.  Adam would bring me a bouquet every week while we were dating in the summer. We met Matt from Wally's 5 years ago when he opened the bagel shop, and who doesn't love bagels.  Matt has been a member of our CSA and has been creating bread shares for folks at our farm for about 4 years.  We always love having their bread and Sadie is always hopeful there will be extra bread at the end of pickup for her and her sister to have a snack in their garden with. We look forward to Matt grilling the pizzas on his crusts this Sunday. Ron and Celia Hackett of Hackett's Orchard and they are amazing people and farmers - our children love going to visit them and we love to sit and visit.  Their apples are delicious and we have eaten many over the years. The Hacketts were one of the first farmers we met here when I moved here many years ago. The Raspberry Chocolate Sauce is from our neighbors Meg and Jim, Stepping Stone Farm.  We moved here 8 years ago as their renters in the mobile home next to the barn- and now they are our friends and our children run in their raspberry patch. For our friends who will create and serve the food and keep an eye out for Sadie and Delia - Julia, Donna Sue, Sophie, Kayla, Alicia, Yard, Emily, and Nana - your help is so appreciated in this whole process.  For Roy and Ev, for this amazing opportunity to try to grow organic vegetables on this land these 9 years ago.  
 
Many friends have helped create the food at your farm table this Sunday - We look forward to sharing it with you.
 
Thankful to the crew who came and brush hogged, moved debris, lopped down sumac trees, mowed, plastic trash removal - wowee - the farm looks like it got a crew cut. :)
 
Doing all this prep and getting fall crops in - are days are full and good.
 
-Hope to see you Sunday, Adam, Christine, Sadie, Delia, Alicia and Yard
 
INVITATION:
 
Join the Lake Champlain Islands Agriculture Network and Blue Heron Farm
for the final “Savor the Islands” Farm dinner of the summer! Get to know
the farmers and chefs of the islands during a fun on-farm afternoon of
local foods, farm tours, and great company! Blue Heron Farm will be
serving up grilled pizza with farm fresh toppings, seasonal quiches,
several creative salads, local fruit (including ground cherries), ricotta cheesecakes, apple blueberry
crisp, and Island Homemade Ice Cream. Ingredients are sourced from Grand
Isle county farms and bakeries. Come celebrate the bounty of summer with
us!

3:00-5:00 at Blue Heron Farm on Sunday, August 18th. Everyone is welcome
to join us, we suggest a donation of $12.00 per adult and $7.00 per child. If that is a hardship, please put in what you can, for those who can give more please do. 

All profits will be donated to Food For Thought, a local program providing
healthy food for children at risk of hunger in Grand Isle County!
 
Christine Bourque and Adam Farris
Blue Heron Farm
34 Quaker Rd
Grand Isle, VT 05458
802-372-3420
www.blueheronfarmvt.com

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Journal Post Week of July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013
Blue Heron Farm Journal
So what’s happening on the farm this week?
Week 8- So here we are - As we walk the fields every day - figuring out what is going to be ready when and for who.  It is quite a balancing act.  Today, most of you, there will be the first taste of tomatoes - our hoophouse is finally starting to ripen and the cherry tomatoes in there look like grapes - hands upon hands of green fat cherry tomatoes slowly ripening.  We have to take you in there to check these plants out - they are about 8 feet tall and growing - they dwarf us in their grandeur.  The first heirloom tomatoes from the field we picked this morning - Juan Flamme - this little tomato is a bit bigger than a ping pong ball but slightly smaller than a baseball- are sweet and tart and orangy yellow - yummy.  And they are quite prolific - so prolific that in the middle of field tomato season Adam always asks why do we plant to so many - it's because they are the earliest and they just keep on producing.
 
Big shout out to our volunteers this week who have harvested potatoes, tomatoes, basil, eggplants, peppers, and more:) We had a small sheep parade up Quaker Rd at the end of the week - we moved all the ewes and the lambs successfully up the road to the veggie farm.  The farm is about 1/10 to 2/10 of mile apart and the impromptu run up with a grain bucket was quite the site to see:)
 
The potatoes are delicious - we are trying to eat them as many ways as we can. We are hoping to get our fall potatoes in (we usually get them in July 4th) today or tomorrow. The fields are all workable now and we are busy planting.  I feel like we were so busy planting spring and summer crops now planning for fall/winter?! Craziness.  We have been experimenting with a nutrient dense foliar feeding for our fruiting plants and we have notices a marked difference - the cucurbit family crops were going down hill because of the funky weather but Adam hooked up irrigation and our foliar feeder and things have been perking up.  We got the call and I think our hay will be done this week - we also are buying hay off the wagon hopefully from another farm.  If there are any able body folks out there who would like to throw hay in the next few days please call us and we could gladly use the help. On friday we are processing about 100 of our pastured organic heritage meat birds - if you would like to learn how to process your own chicken or help out give us a call.  We do have a few chickens that are not spoken for, so if you are interested give us a call - they will be $6.00 lb and average in weight 4 to 5lbs.  And to continue on the meat subject, we have organic ground lamb and sweet italian lamb sausage now available for $14.50lb.    Oh and if anyone wants to help with our big farm dinner coming up on August 18th, let us know - we are looking for a chef currently and volunteers:)
   
We picked 3 pints of ground cherries today:) They are coming too:) We can not wait - Summer is flying by - On Friday will be August 2nd - it will be our 10 year wedding anniversary.  10 years ago we were busy picking and picking and picking from our "far-garden" for our wedding caterer, getting ready for the feast of the year - we raised all our own food for the wedding which is incredible feat and most of the flowers and then we got to go picking in some of our friends perennial beds.  Wow 10 years! We are so blessed for this crazy, love filled, bountiful life with all of its adventures. It is now 10 years later and that wedding feast helped create the seed that blossomed into this farm, this way of life - feeding our little family and so many more people beyond that wedding feast. Some of you have been with us since before that feast and others have just met us this year - we are so happy to have you on this journey with us.
  
Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Alicia and Yard
PS Green Beans, tomatillos, more tomatoes and ground cherries;)
 
Special events over the next few weeks:
"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. 
 
 What’s in the share this week: Lettuce heads, Taste of tomatoes, Young Onions, Pickling Cukes, Slicing Cukes, Zucchini, Summer Squash,Thai and italian basil, "Nicola"-a buttery yellow potato, Heirloom Eggplants, Hot Peppers
 
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  AND ...2 oz skeins that are dyed in wonderful colors on our oatmeal yarn :) $12/Dyed 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.
 
Recipes
Fragrant Broiled and Pureed Eggplant adapted from Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider
This recipe suits any large eggplants - ones with a large proportion of flesh to skin. Season, broil until smoky and squishy, drain, and puree. Do not trim off the stems, which act as handles during preparation. Serve as a salad course, accompanied by olives, sliced tomatoes, and breadsticks or toasted pita triangles. Or thin puree slightly to offer as a dip with raw fennel and other vegetable strips. Allow to mellow overnight before serving. Mince feathery fennel tops to sprinkle over the dip.
3 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground anise, fennel or allspice
about 2 Tablespoons flavorful olive oil
2 or 3 eggplants of equal size (to total about 2.5 pounds)
1 teaspoon sugar
½ Tablespoon kosher salt
about 1/3 cup whole-milk yogurt or a smaller quantity of thick drained (‘Greek’) yogurt to taste
Black pepper or ground hot pepper to taste
 Preheat broiler. Cut garlic into long slivers or slices. Combine in cup with coriander, cumin, anise, and 1/4 teaspoon oil; mix well. With knife tip, cut deep slits in eggplants. Holding slits open with knife, insert garlic. When garlic is used up, rub eggplants with any remaining spice mixture. Place eggplants in a baking pan as far from broiling element as possible. Broil, turning once, until skin wrinkles and blackens and eggplants collapse - about 20-30 minutes, depending upon size of eggplants and type of broiler. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand about 10 minutes. Holding stem of one still hot eggplant, gently remove skin with a small knife. Discard skin along with stems. Place flesh in a strainer to drain as you peel remaining eggplant (s). Combine eggplant flesh, sugar, and salt in food processor and pulse to barely mix. Pulsing, gradually add yogurt to taste, then add remaining oil. Do not puree until smooth - some texture is nice. Scrape into a bowl. Add pepper and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate overnight. Season before serving, preferably at room temperature.
 
Grilled Eggplant Panini
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 1/2-inch slices eggplant (about 1 small)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
8 slices whole-grain bread
8 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup sliced jarred roasted red peppers
4 thin slices red onion
Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine mayonnaise and basil in a small bowl. Using 1 tablespoon oil, lightly brush both sides of eggplant and sprinkle each slice with garlic salt. With the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, brush one side of each slice of bread. Grill the eggplant for 6 minutes, turn with a spatula, top with cheese, and continue grilling until the cheese is melted and the eggplant is tender, about 4 minutes more. Toast the bread on the grill, 1 to 2 minutes per side.  To assemble sandwiches: Spread basil mayonnaise on four slices of bread. Top with the cheesy eggplant, red peppers, onion and the remaining slices of bread. Cut in half and serve warm. Submitted by April Stearns
 
Layered Eggplant Casserole from Recipes from America's Small Farms

2-3 TBS vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 TBS milk
¼ cup all purpose flour, more if needed
1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into ¼ inch thick slices
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
4 ounces Monterey Jack or other cheese, grated
1 TBS unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 2-quart casserole. Beat the egg and milk in a bowl and spread the flour on a plate. Heat 1 TBS of the oil in large skillet. Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg mixture, and then flour on both sides. Place the slices in the skillet in a single layer and fry until golden on both sides. Continue frying the eggplant in batches, adding oil as necessary, until done. Layer the fried eggplant, the onion, the tomato, and the cheese until they are all used up; the final layer should be the eggplant. Sprinkle any remaining flour (or use another 2 TBS of flour) over the top. Dot with the butter. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, until bubbling and the eggplant is tender. Note: instead of frying the eggplant slices, you can drizzle them with oil and bake them on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
 
Eggplant Pulp Facts from Recipes from America's Small Farms No one ever said eggplant pulp was pretty, but it's a beautiful base for spreads and salads. To make it, just puncture a large eggplant in a few places and wrap it loosely in aluminum foil. Place it in a 400 degree oven until it's soft and mushy – it's usually ready in about an hour, but longer baking won't hurt it. Let it cool completely, then scrape all the flesh off the skin. You'll get about 1 ½ cups of pulp from a medium eggplant. Add whatever other vegetables and herbs you like – the eggplant's mild taste and pleasant texture blends and binds other ingredients.
 
Eggplant Rounds with Cheese and Tomato Sauce adapted from D. Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
6-8 eggplant rounds per person, grilled, broiled or fried (from the skinny asian eggplants, reduce number of slices if using the large purple ones.)
3/4 cup grated or sliced mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola or goat cheese
about 4 cups favorite tomato sauce
chopped parsley or basil
Place the eggplant rounds on a sheet pan and cover with the cheeses. Bake at 375 degrees until the cheese melts. Serve with 2 or 3 spoonfuls of the sauce on each serving and garnish with the parsley or basil.

Baked Summer Squash with Pesto Crumbs
from More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden by Renee Shepherd
This can be served as a whole meal, over wild rice and garnished with toasted pecans.
3 lbs. Mixed summer squash
3 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. mace
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 shallots, minced
4 scallions, finely chopped
½ cup Pesto Bread Crumbs Recipe(see below)

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a 2 ½ to 3 quart casserole dish with cover. Trim squash and cut into large chunks (about 1 ½ inches). Arrange squash pieces in casserole and set aside. Melt butter and olive oil together in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, blending thoroughly. Pour sauce mixture over squash, tossing until squash is coated. Cover casserole and bake 40 minutes. Toss squash gently and spoon juices and seasonings from the bottom of dish over squash. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake uncovered for 10 minutes longer, until squashes are tender when pierced with a knife.
 
Pesto Bread Crumbs

1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
3 Tbs. roasted pine nuts
1 ½ cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until thoroughly blended. After using, refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 2 cups.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Journal for week of July 22, 2013

Blue Heron Farm Journal
So what’s happening on the farm this week?
July 23 - Week 7- Things are growing.  Veggies,flowers, animals, birds, people - the sun has down some good work on the farm.  Yes, it is dry in parts which helps us get some of our crops in the ground,  that should have been in hmmm...  I'm pretty happy that there is food coming out of these fertile fields right now - yes we had had to till in half acre or so of veggies this early summer but you know, there is food coming - with patience - not throwing in the towel - yes, there are farmer up and down moments through out the day (deer found the sweet potato vines and we have baby green beans on the beans and we have 500 lbs of potatoes still need to be planted and wowee  we picked our first beautiful cherry tomatoes and the hay hasn't been mowed yet ) the roller coaster of emotions at times are a bit much - but the important thing in a season like this is to take it in stride.  And breathe. And take a few deep breathes after a few swear words or take a deep breathe with a huge smile of relief and pleasure when you pick the first sweet ground cherries.  It's important to take even strides and keep our head up - breathing, striding, patience and praying the farmers' constant dance. and replanting.
 
The girls had a great time in Cape Cod last week - lots of fun at the beach, ocean, bay, pool, oh my and many aunties, uncles and their nana.  Much fun - thanks to everyone who helped out here while me and the girls were away.  Adam and I want to make sure the girls have lots of fun adventures while growing up on this little farm of ours.  These little trips away make them appreciate our farm a bit more - Mama, where is this meat from? Can we go to the farmers market and see what the farmers have? Mama, can we have fish tonight - because its fresh here.
 
We are loving these yellow, Nicola potatoes - we are frying them, boiling them, baking - oh yum.  Oh and the weather today is perfect. The other night we made eggplant parmesean over rigatoni with homemade ricotta, basil, green peppers, zuchinni, summer squash, garlic scapes, last years tomato sauce - oh my - so good - when we made this - we made two pans - one for that night and one for the next - perfect:)
Adam is getting fields ready with the tractor to plant fall crops, carrots, beets, cabbage, brocolli, peas, greens, potatoes and more...I think we are making pickles tonight after a pesto pasta veggie dinner..Hope you are all well- Apologies for not getting these newsletters out weekly, things have been hectic here and as these two little girls grow bigger - I don't have as much time as I used too.  Also, we would gladly  take any recipes you have for future journals. 
We look forward to farming with you this season.   
Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Alicia and Yard
 
PS With the sun and some newly trellised field tomatoes - fingers crossed you should get some cherry tomatoes in your share on Monday;) and maybe some beans :)
 
Special events over the next few weeks:
 
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. 
 
 
 What’s in the share this week: Salad Mix, Pickling Cukes, Slicing Cukes, Zuchinni, Summer Squash,Thai and italian basil, "Nicola"-a buttery yellow potato, Parsley, Heirloom Eggplants, Hot Peppers
 
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  AND ...2 oz skeins that are dyed in wonderful colors on our oatmeal yarn :) $12/Dyed 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.
 
Recipes
 
Refrigerator Dill Pickles - www.foodnetwork.com
 
1/2 cup white vinegar, eyeball it
2 rounded teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped or snipped
1 bay leaf
1 clove cracked garlic
1 teaspoon salt
 
 
4 cucumbers, cut into 1-inch slices on an angle


Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf, and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving. You can put in an old pickle jar or mason jar - glass is best so your plastic doesn't become the smell of pickles.
 
Mama Farmer note: You can replace all the spices with a 1-2 tablespoons of pickling spice available at city martket in the bulk section or in any spice section in the grocery store.
 
Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles www.heritagerecipes.com
 
Pickling cucumbers to fill a gallon jar or mix in a large bowl or stainless steel pot and then divvy them up into smaller jars.
3 onions sliced
4 cups sugar
4 cups vinegar
1/3 cup plain salt
1 1/2 tsp each turmeric, mustard seed and celery seed

Combine sugar and vinegar in small saucepan over low heat to dissolve sugar.  Add spices.  Pack sliced cucumbers and onions in jar very tight, add liquid and spices, seal and refrigerate.

These bread and butter pickles are a wonderful little side dish to set out with just about any meal, but our first love will always be adding them to sandwiches.
 
Note: The refrigerator pickles don't need to marinate very long at all before they're ready to eat, usually just 24 hours or so.  As to how long they keep ... I'd say "the same as any other pickles in your refrigerator."  They might become more mushy than crisp if you had them in the frig for a year, but I've never known them to go bad
 
Sweet Relish www.heritagerecipes.com
 
6 lbs cucumbers [Do not peel]
4 cups onions
2 green peppers
1 red pepper
Directions:
Grind and mix together with;
1/2 c canning salt
2 qts Boiling water.
Let stand for 1 hour.

Drain real well, then add the following,



1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. tumeric
1 pint vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. corn starch



Boil 1/2 hour and seal hot in pint jars. Can for 20 minutes in boiling water canner
Makes around 6 pints.

Zucchini with Basil and Pecorino Romano Cheese from Verdura by Viana La Place

1 1/2 pounds firm zucchini
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons freshly grated imported Pecorino Romano cheese
10 basil leaves

Wash the zucchini well. Trim the zucchini and slice into thin coins. Place olive oil in a large saute pan and turn the heat to high. Add the zucchini and toss in the oil until it is lightly golden in spots but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat to medium low, add the garlic and S & P to taste. Cook until the zucchini is tender but still has a trace of crispness. Transfer the zucchini to a serving platter. Sprinkle the grated Pecorino Romano cheese over the zucchini. Tear the basil leaves into fragments and scatter them over the top.

PEANUT DRESSING WITH THAI BASIL www.marquitafarm.com
(Note from Julia: This is also good with other basils.  I didn't have roasted peanut oil so I used 2 tbsp. peanut butter with 2 tbsp. canola oil and it worked fine.)

1/4 cup
2 1/2 tbsp.
1 tbsp.
1 clove
1/2 to 1
1
8
2 tbsp.
2 tbsp.
roasted peanut oil
rice vinegar
soy sauce
garlic, finely minced
serrano chile, diced
scallions, including an inch of green, thinly sliced
mint leaves, finely chopped
chopped basil (Thai or other)
chopped cilantro
pinch salt

Combine everything in a bowl and whisk together. Taste for salt.

THAI BASIL

It has a slight anise flavor and it's sometimes known as anise basil.  Treat it the same as you would the genovese basil, and try it anywhere you would use 'regular' basil.  Thai basil can go with ANYTHING. Thai Basil is that basil you get in thai dishes.

Simple Pesto Recipe for Italian or Thai Basil

Whirl in your food processor or blender (blender method may need a bit more oil):   leaves and tiny stems from 1 bunch basil, 1/3 cup walnuts(any king of nut really or use sunflower seeds or leave it out), 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, 2 roughly chopped garlic cloves (or garlic powder in a pinch).  Then add with the machine running: 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil.   Season with salt and pepper. You can freeze pesto in a log in wax or parchment paper and slice off as you need it from your freezer.  We make these logs and enjoy pesto all winter long.

Monday, July 8, 2013

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. openfarmandstudio.com.


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.
 
Recipes
 
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:  http://mariquita.com/recipes/summer%20squash.html


2 lbs summer squash
Salt
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 13x9 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!