Tuesday, June 30, 2009

CSA newsletter Week 4

So what’s happening on the farm this week?

CSA Week 4: Well, be careful what you wish for – we got a good chunk of rain on Friday – I call it a chunk because chucks of the sky decided to fall and shred and make their mark on our little farm. These little chunks of “heaven” or nickel/quarter size snowballs from New York made the chard a bit holey along with the squash and zucchini leaves. Interesting though while I was picking sugar snaps yesterday morning and today, I noticed these little notches in the pea leaves and then – oh god – the peas – so there are little white dents in your sugar snaps this week – perfectly fine to eat – trust me, Sadie, Adam and I have eaten about a pound a piece today – the other peas look okay and some of the lettuce got a little beat up. There is really nothing we can do about NY Hale – we blame NY because it came from the west and I hear the east shore did not get it – you know why because our peas took it on – head on. They are our vegetable heroes.

Speaking of Lettuce – we have done our yearly sacrifice – not on purpose to the d#$#% deer. We thought we were safe – lots of row covers , pea trellises and huge, hot electric. We however did not cover these that I planted in the first week of June (yes Kaight those are the ones I planted while Sadie played with the kids). Ugh! They have eaten the hearts out of 200 ft worth of bed – 4 heads across – every 12 inches – I will let you do the math…Luckily I planted some more by the basil in the front of the field and they seemed not to like that (probably haven’t found it yet). We shouldn’t have a lull for lettuce – well hopefully – because there will be lettuce mix again – and more heads after that. But for this week we will have heads – yum.

We got a ton of work done this week- tomato field almost all mulched , Adam planted 250 lbs of potatoes today, Christine has picked well over 200lbs of sugar snap peas, planted the winter squash, got the blue truck fixed (new water pump, muffler, rear brake, starter) thanks to our great neighbor Glen across the street from the farm, staked tomatoes, planted sunflowers, zinnias, calendula, cosmos and chamomile, managed to teach Sadie how to pick peas and put them in the basket and got Sadie a cool pair of sunglasses (they Velcro in the backJ) thanks to nana. Also, Adam met with some folks from the Natural Resources Conservation Service for a grant to help us install perimeter fencing and help us install a stream crossing to allow animal and equipment access to our field on the other side of a waterway crossing our land. Most likely, the first thing we’ll do with NRCS is establish a grazing plan for our sheep and chickens, or “Conservation Activities Plan.” We should know soon if they will help us out.

On Sunday, Christine and Sadie went to the SH Congregational Church to make a lettuce donation (25 bags of lettuce) and 30lbs of sugar snap peas for Food for Thought. We will be able to help more to provide fresh produce to these families – 31 families in total – with over 70 children. We were able to secure a grant from NOFA-VT and community donations to create a mini farm share for these families - $5.00 of local, grand isle county produce in their basket each week. The coordinators, Kaight and Melissa, will be “shopping” at our farm, Hacketts Orchard and possibly other local farms to buy fresh produce for the families. We have set it up similar to our Senior Shares – so these are Kid SharesJ We are piloting this program this year – first of this in the state and hopefully get more funding next year for bigger shares. The families that are involved are very grateful and excited to be getting such nutrious and thoughtful food – one mom told be yesterday – “real food”. I thought about “real food” and how it sometimes can be a bit more expensive and a bit more work, but wow is it worth it. I am proud we are growing Real Food.

A Family/CSA Cow? We have been thinking about getting a beautiful, sweet Jersey cow from our friend Jonathan who is downsizing his herd. This means we would have certified organic raw milk to sell 10 months of the year. She would produce about 3 gallons a day at least, which adds up! We are weighing the pros and cons, costs and benefits. We would like to know what others think about this- how many CSA folks would buy raw organic milk? Would you enjoy a CSA share approach to buying the milk? Would you want to come learn how to milk her? Would you want to help us with the initial up front costs of acquiring a healthy milk cow? Please give any and all of your thoughts.And again, thanks for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris, Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris

What’s in the share this week: The best Darn Broccoli ever grown on this farm, SUGAR SNAP PEAS, Mammoth Snow Peas, Lettuce Heads, Arugula, Garlic Scapes – English Shelling peas next week.

Looking for….people who would like to get their hands dirty
Anyone who would like to help transplant, weed, plant, harvest, we’ll provide food and drink and plenty of Sadie smiles and laughs– give us a call – 372-3420 or email harmonyvt@yahoo.com. We would love to have youJ We are also looking for volunteers During the week Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings – if you are a working share member these would be great times to come and help.

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 yolks you ever seen. The eggs are $5.00 a dozen. Our chickens are the best tillers/fertilizers on the farmJ


Garlic scapes are the curlicue flower stalks we snap off garlic plants in the spring to redirect the plant’s energy down toward the root. Store unwashed garlic scapes in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

You can eat the whole scape including the flower bud – you can chop, slice,dice the whole thingJ You can add sliced scapes to any stir fry recipe. -Slice and sprinkle over any pasta, or slice and cook them in almost any sauce recipe. -Great in guacamole and fresh salsa, too. -Chop & add to softened cream cheese or butter -Add chopped fresh scapes when serving a light garlic soup; can also add them to buttered, french bread floated on the soup. -Use them as you would green onions, they're just better. - Good in salads, on bruschetta, pizza, use for garlic bread. An excellent addition to stocks, pickle them or freeze them.

Garlic Scape Tortilla
1 & 1/2 cups chopped garlic scapes 1/4 cup hot water Salt & Pepper 4 large eggs 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Place garlic in a 10 inch skillet with 1 tsp. oil, 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Cook covered over med. high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well. Beat eggs with salt and pepper. Add remaining oil to skillet. When oil is hot, shake skillet to spread greens evenly, add eggs. Cover and cook over med. low heat until top is set [2-3 Minutes].
Roasted Garlic Scapes Take the scapes and put them in a lightly oiled roasting pan, top with salt (kosher or sea salt works best but any will do). Put the loaded and covered pan in a hot (425 °F) oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until they are beginning to turn brown. Serve as a side or main dish. Tastes like roasted garlic but creamier.

Scape pesto

Smooth and flavorful, but in a subtle, garlicky-lemony way.Feel free to improvise – add more or less of any one of these ingredients – you can also add walnuts or pinenuts for an extra flair.• 6-7 garlic scapes, chopped• approx. 1 c. olive oil• 1 c. grated parmesan or asiago cheese* (The latter tastes best.) Food process the scapes and olive oil, which turn a brilliant, if watery-looking, green. Then blend hand with the fresh-grated cheese and pour it over angel-hair pasta, and then garnish with toasted pine nuts, olives, and/or fresh tomatoes or anything else. Garlic scape pesto freezes well.

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