Monday, June 22, 2009

Week 3 Journal Posting

So what’s happening on the farm this week?
Happy Solstice! Happy Daddy Day! When we came in for lunch, Adam wanted to write some for the journal – so here he is: Wow- it’s already the third week of CSA pick-ups. We hope everyone has been enjoying all the greens and (mostly) salad stuff that grows really well in the early part of the season. Slowly but surely, despite the cooler than normal weather, all of our plants are growing pretty well. Its an exiting time for us because we see so much potential for happy eaters (and yes, a few bucks at the marketJ) in all those thriving veggies. Another exciting happening on the farm is the much anticipated arrival of our sugar snap pea harvest, and harvesting the best broccoli we have ever grown- thanks to Michael Monley for helping to cut,weigh and photograph the awesome crop! Thank also to Michael’s mom Liz and to Fiona and Ben Case for their help picking peas for the CSA. We also have to thank Sharon Powers for weeding and mulching a good deal of the garlic beds- it looks great. Speaking of garlic, next week we should have garlic scapes! For CSA folks who have not seen or heard of scapes, they are a little false flower stalk that comes up and curls around like a little French horn. If we let them grow, they basically drop little clones on the ground to grow. We pick them off so the plants will put all their effort into bulbs, and we get a yummy garlicky green to chop into our favorite recipes!

For a few years, many people have been asking for a Blue Heron Farm blog or place to find the newsletter online. Well, we just created a blog where we will post the contents of the journal- we’re not sure it will work for this, but it will be fun to try! We will also have a photos posted when the spirit strikes us. We hope folks will visit the blog and leave a note, add a recipe, or just say hi! The link is:

Okay, I have fed Sadie and I am back, Adam’s turn to eat and play with Sadie – who is serenading us with metal bowls and a metal soup ladle. Thanks also to Christine’s mom and sister Michelle for helping at the farm this weekend and this coming week. Auntie Shelly came up for her usual 24 hour visit and nana is here until Thursday. It is so helpful to have extra hands to play with Sadie and to help around the farm and house. Nana, auntie, Christine and Sadie went to the first South Burlington Farmers Market at Healthy Living yesterday. It was their first on and they are going to have it once a month on the third Sunday of the month. It was great! People were thanking us for being there and a lot of our produce moved, especially the 20 pints of sugar snap peas I picked the night before at dusk – those pints were the only pints at market and we sold them for $4.00 a pint?!! We sold out in a half hour – It’s funny because the peas were an afterthought to bring, I didn’t think they would be ready and I picked as many as I could in a half hour – about 9lbs. My sister wanted to tun back to grand isle – 40 minute drive – pick more and then drive back – after we told her how long it would take – she decided to stay, not happily but she did and played with Sadie and I think she tried to pass her off as her daughter at times. J It was a great little market, thanks to Healthy Living for putting it on. The produce managers were happy and they were eyeing our organic sugar snap peas – they want as many as we can provide but I told him we had a hungry CSA families who we had to feed first and then we would see… J

When I was picking the lettuce mix on Friday morning, Sadie came over and nursed and then fell asleep. I laid her on her belly ontop of the Ergo baby carrier and then put my large straw hat over her. She was just sprawled out – in the middle of the lettuce bed – sound asleep. We took many pictures of this – this is the first time she has actually slept in the field. I will try to post a picture on our blog.

We are excited to be donating again this year to Food for Thought – the summer breakfast and lunch program for children and their families in Grand Isle County. We have donated almost 100 heads of lettuce over the last two weeks. Thanks to those CSA members who donated their shares while they were away to this program. They have 60 kids so far from every town in this county – our goal is 100 children. If you know of any family with children who may need help with food this summer, have them call Margaret at the South Hero Congregational Church at 372-4642. The bags are available for pickup on Sundays from 4-5pm with nutritious breakfast and lunch foods. We hope to continue donating produce for these families. If you would like to help out the program, contact us or the Margaret at the church.

And again, thanks for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris, Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris

What’s in the share this week: BROCOLLI!!! SUGAR SNAP PEAS!!!Green Leaf Lettuce, Lettuce Mix, Final Round of Luscious, Bodacious Spinach, Heirloom Silverbeet Chard

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 We would love to have you. 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. Pullet Eggs will be cheaper. Our chickens are the best tillers/fertilizers on the farmJ

Sugar Snap Peas - Source: Farmer John's Cookbook
The ’70s brought forth many righteous trends: the Brady Bunch, hotpants, and halter tops. A little-known fact is that the ’70s also yielded sugar snap peas, a hybrid crop that combines the sweetness of green peas with the crunch of snow peas. Far from a passing phase, sugar snap peas are still the bomb. Fresh or lightly cooked, sugar snap peas can be enjoyed pods and all. Store whole, unwashed sugar snap peas in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to five days.Rinse sugar snap peas in their pods and pat them dry. To string both sides at once, hold the top stem-end and pull down toward the flat side of the pea. Alternatively, string peas after cooking to retain sweetness.

Broccoli is a flower—a bunch of flowers, to be exact. All those tiny little buds just haven’t opened up yet. If we were to let our broccoli plants keep growing in the fields without harvesting them, they would erupt into a bouquet of tiny yellow flowers. Storage Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for up to a week. Handling Immediately before cooking, soak broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to a 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes. Any [organic] critters will float to the top where you can rescue them or allow them to suffer a salty death. (Note: If you soak broccoli in salt water before storing, it will become too rubbery and wilted to enjoy.) Slice the juicy, edible stems and use them wherever florets are called for. Peel particularly thick skin before using. PLEASE EAT THE STALKS – raw or cooked - that’s where all the flavor is. Source: Farmer John's Cookbook

Broccoli with Asian-Style Dressing
Be careful—this can be addictive. You may not want your broccoli any other way after trying this recipe. For variety, try adding matchstick-size strips of steamed carrots or daikon. Angelic Organics Kitchen.Serves 2 to 4

1 medium head broccoli
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil (optional)

Separate the florets from the stalk; break into smaller florets. Cut the stalk into 1-inch lengths and then into matchstick-size strips. Place the broccoli in a steamer basket set over 1 ½ inches boiling water and cover. Steam for 5 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to a bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir until well combined. Pour the dressing over the broccoli and mix well.

- Saute chard with garlic in olive oil. Put a cover on the pan and allow chard to steam for about 5 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and , if desired, some hot pepper flakes before serving.- Blanch the leaves and add to soup. Try substituting chard for spinach or arugula in soup recipes.- Blanch the whole leaves and stuff them with meat or vegetable fillings.

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

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