Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28 - CSA Journal posting

So what’s happening on the farm this week?
Week 8: As I write this, I am staring out the window watching the chickadees jumping in the grass. Watching the billowy, marshmallow clouds with grey highlights that are getting darker as they approach our little farm. It has already sprinkled today – well, downpoured for a while – while Sadie tried to lay down for a nap. The storms these days seem to come and go but when they come they are pretty big and scary. The clay soil is soaking it up and the plants are trying to soak up as much as they can – when we picked cukes and eggplants this morning the plants looked a little tired, a little yellow telling us they have soaked as much as they can from the soil, we are going to give them a boost today with some fish emulsion and compost tea. The tomatoes are yearning for some sun – their leaves so green and lush with big green globes hanging heavily from their vines. The tiny cherry tomatoes – have poked out from under the leaves looking, begging for the sun to shine on down – sometimes I think they are making a bargain with the sun and the earth – please let us turn that orangy glow and we will be sweet for all to eat. We had a tease of them on Saturday – we picked 6 pints out of 200 plants – we are hoping that we will have enough for you all next week. In the hoophouse we had a nice surprise, no not ripe tomatoes, but Okra. We picked about a quarts worth it fried it lightly in some cornmeal and egg with olive oil in a cast iron skillet – yum. Adam’s family is here from Texas and Chicago and they thought this born and raised Yankee did a pretty good job making it upJ

The green beans are almost here and so are the potatoes – another week or two. The zucchini and summer squash are doing wonderfully and we donated 60 medium sized zucchinis to Food for Thought yesterday. I think there are 91 kids we are helping to feed through these summer months. The families who are involved are loving the fresh produce from our farm and Hacketts. If you know of any families who are in need of food this summer for their children, please have them call Margaret at the South Hero Congregational Church and she can add them to our list. If you ever have extra produce in your own garden, feel free to drop it off at the church on Sundays or with us and we can make sure it gets to all these families. Also, this week we start our Senior Farm Share program with the residents of the Round Barn. A big welcome to these latest members to our CSA family. We will be providing 20 - $5.00 shares for the next 10 weeks to our neighbors here in Grand Isle. This was made possible through a grant through the USDA and NOFA-VT. Oh wow – so we will now have 70 CSA members – and 35 families from Food for thought – WOW! We are helping to feed over 100 families in our little county just with our CSA program and donations to Food for thought never mind all the families who come and buy from us at the farm stand and farmers market. This is very humbling and we are honored to have a place at your kitchen table. This is one of the best jobs in the world – growing food for our neighbors – thanks for sticking by us, helping us out and supporting us emotionally, physically and financially – it really means a lot.

There will be a Blue Heron Farm Hoe-Down really soon – we will keep you posted – complete with music, food and some workJ and tours.

The wind is blowing the clouds around and moving the grey into the white – the chickadees have moved on and the sun and wind are here – for a time. Time to plant some more cucumbersJ

Thanks for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris, Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris
What’s in the share this week: Onions, Fresh-Pulled Garlic bulbs, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Oriental and Listada da Gandia Eggplant, Cucumbers, Squash Flowers, Basil, Parsley, PYO Snow Peas, and Potluck bunch of something
http://www.blueheronfarm-vt.blogspot.com/ CHECK US OUT ON THE WEB and LEAVE COMMENTS TOO – WE haven’t updates in the last week and ahlf due to globalnet being done – more posts coming, hopefully now that it is back up.

Meg and Jim our next door neighbors and the great farmers of the raspberries will have raspberries available at pickup for the next week or two and then again in the fall. The pints are $5.00. If you would like to special order a flat of them for jam making (it takes about 4 pints to make one batch of jam). Give Meg a call at 372-3019.

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 harmonyvt@yahoo.com. Thanks
Eggplant Rounds with Cheese and Tomato Sauce
6-8 eggplant rounds per person, grilled, broiled or fried
3/4 cup grated or sliced mozzarella1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola or goat cheeseabout 4 cups favorite tomato saucechopped 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

Squash Pancakes
2 eggs1/2C milk4 medium summer squashes, grated1/2C bread crumbs1/2C grated cheese1/3C each chopped fresh parsley, basil and cilantro2T minced shallot or green onion4T butter1/4C flour
Mix together eggs and milk. Add squash, herbs and shallots. Then mix in the cheese. Add slowly the bread crumbs and flour and mix well. In a large, heavy, non-stick skillet, melt 1T butter until it starts to brown. Spoon about 1/4C of mixture into the pan and flatten a bit with the spoon. You might be able to fit 2 pancakes into the same pan at once. When the edges show a little browning turn with a spatula. Cook the other side until it is also golden brown. Keep pancakes warm in the oven until they are all cooked.
Squash Blossom Frittata
3-4 blossoms1-2 baby squash4 eggsDash of milk2 green onionsAsiago cheeseChopped parsley and snipped chives (optional)Salt and pepper to taste
Pick 3 to 4 blossoms per person and 1 or 2 baby yellow or green summer squash. Rinse blossoms well and drain on paper towels. Beat 4 eggs with a little milk. Add fresh chopped parsley and snipped chives, if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste.. In a non-stick pan, saute a little butter and cook 2 green onion and thinly sliced baby squash just until soft. Then quickly saute the blossoms for about 30 seconds and remove from pan.. Pour egg mix into pan, sprinkle and arrange the onions, squash and blossoms on top and cook over low to medium heat until almost set. Sprinkle with Asiago cheese and put under the broiler until lightly puffed and browned.

Squash Blossom Hush Puppies
Dry Ingredients:2 cups cornmeal1 cup all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or ground cayenne pepper to taste1/4 teaspoon ground cuminWet Ingredients:1-1/3 cups buttermilk2 large eggs2 tablespoons corn oil or bacon drippingsVegetables:1/4 cup minced onion8 to 10 squash blossoms, coarsely chopped1 cup fresh corn kernelsCorn or canola oil for frying
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Beat lightly with a fork to blend.Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a deep-fat fryer or a large, heavy pot (to a depth of about 3 inches.) When ready to cook, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in the vegetables. Mix until just combined. Drop by spoonfuls into the hot oil and brown on all sides, which should take 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. NOTE: Hush puppies should be golden and crisp on the outside, and tender and moist inside. If the first batch turns out too dry, moisten the batter with more milk.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20 - CSA Journal

So what’s happening on the farm this week?

Week 7: It has been a pretty busy week here despite the crummy weather – we are clearing fields and getting ready to plant fall plantings of peas, carrots, and summer plantings of lettuce mix, more beans, and whatever else we can get in the ground. Sadie and Christine had a great time playing on the beach. Sadie had fun wiggling her toes in the sand, looking for crabs and clams on the shore and splashing the water. She also enjoyed her 5 am walks with her momma along the shore in the ergo on momma’s back, where she quickly fell asleep. The drive was not too bad it took about 5 hours – a big thanks to Adam and Tammy and CSA members who came to help while we were away.

The zucchini and summer squash are so tender you can eat them raw. We stir-friend them both together last night with a little olive oil and tamari and yum! We cook them el dente. The corn is starting to tassel out and we should have corn in a couple of weeks – the first ever grown on our farm. We are pretty excited. The cucumbers and cherry tomatoes we should have in another week or so. The weather has put a damper on somethings – we will not have any lettuce for about 3 weeks, at this point it looks like no melons or ground cherries this year. On the other hand the tomatoes, green beans, tomatillos and potatoes are looking good. The eggplant is starting to produce more and the hoophouse peppers are getting big. It does not feel like the end of July – if feels like the end of May/June. The weeds are a bit crazy but we are actively trying to get them under control.

Meg and Jim our next door neighbors and the great farmers of the raspberries will have raspberries available at pickup for the next week or two and then again in the fall. The pints are $5.00. We also have wool roving for sale from our sheep. It is $18 for 6 ounces.

Thanks for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris, Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris

What’s in the share this week: Carrots, Fresh-Pulled Garlic bulbs, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Oriental Eggplant, Cabbage, Squash Flowers and maybe beet greens

www.blueheronfarm-vt.blogspot.com CHECK US OUT ON THE WEB and LEAVE COMMENTS TOO:

Eggs for sale
We have the pretty girls’ eggs for sale – these are free-range, certified organic chicken eggs with the brightest yellow yolks you ever seen. $5.00 a dozen.

Lending Library
Has new books in it. Please feel free to borrow books – just sign them out on the sign out sheet.


How to cook Zucchini and Yellow Squash-
Zucchini and Yellow Squash are very versatile vegetables. You can slice it thin and sauté with butter or olive oil. You can cut thinly and layer in a pan with some cheese and other veggies or meat and bake like a lasagna. You can cut it in half and stuff it with cheese, potatoes, egg, etc. You can even eat it raw. Also, you can slice it in half or cut into circles and grill it. My mom like to dice it up and add it to eggs in the morning. You can also shred it and freeze it and use it later. There are so many recipes for it, I could go on and on. The Vermont Health department reports that zucchini and summer squash are good sources of Vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fiber. Zucchini help maintain healthy vision, keep the immune system strong, and help maintain heart health. We have enclosed a few interesting recipes. We hope you enjoy it. Note: You can substitute Yellow Squash for Zucchini and vice versa in all these recipes.

Zucchini Yogurt Multigrain Muffins (from allrecipes.com)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 24 muffin cups. In a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, yogurt, sugar, honey, and vanilla. Mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Fold in the zucchini, carrots, pecans, and raisins. Scoop into the prepared muffin cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe (from Simply Recipes)The great thing about adding zucchini to this chocolate cake is that the zucchini makes the cake moist and light.

2 1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted1/2 cup cocoa2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon cinnamon3/4 cup soft butter2 cups sugar
3 eggs2 teaspoons vanilla2 teaspoons grated orange peel2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini1/2 cup milk1 cup chopped walnuts or pecansGlaze (directions follow)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside. With a mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until they are smoothly blended. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini. Alternately stir the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition. Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan or regular cake pan. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes (test at 45 minutes!) or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to cool thoroughly. Drizzle glaze over cake. Glaze: Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth. Cut in thin slices to serve. Makes 10-12 servings. Note: You can also make these in muffin tins and you can leave out the nuts
Zucchini Bread or muffins (from allrecipes.com)

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F ( 165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, salt and nuts; stir into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until done.

Zuchinni wrapped in tortillas (we made this last night, very tasty, we made some lentils on the side too)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seed (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 cups grated zucchini
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt to taste
4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
4 fresh chives
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

In a medium size wok or saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds. As they begin to pop, lower the heat and add the onion and ginger. Saute until onions are soft and light pink in color. Add the shredded zucchini, increase the heat slightly. Stir frequently until the zucchini gets soft and well-cooked, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, pepper, clove, cinnamon and salt. Warm the tortillas and place the tortillas on a flat surface. Place 1/4 of the zucchini filling in the center of each tortilla. Roll up each tortilla and tie it closed with a chive. You can serve the wrap with a dollop of sour cream on the side, it makes for a well rounded wrap!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blue Heron Farm Journal July 13th 2009

So what’s happening on the farm this week?
Week 6: This week, Christine and Sadie are off to Cape Cod for a few days of vacation with her family. They headed off this morning for some much needed r&r on the beach. Sadie will get to hang out with all her aunts and uncles and nana, and Christine will get to just be. I am not alone, however, because Christine’s best friend from grade school, Tammy, is up here for the week helping me (Adam) to keep up on the farm work. I think we will actually have a chance to catch up and get ahead with some of our planting and weeding, so long as we don’t keep getting buckets of rain so often!

Speaking of rain, everyone has been asking how its affected things on the farm, so here goes: More than anything, the rain has made it hard to get new successions of things like lettuce and arugula in the ground, as well as a variety of seeds for things like carrots, snap beans, and herbs. Fortunately, we got a lot of stuff in the ground before the weather turned so wet- we should have lots of beans, some potatoes, more beets, and more onions for you soon. With so much water and not so much sun or warm weather, our cukes, squash, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes are growing slower and are not as tough. In fact, many growers in the Northeast are worried about “early blight”, the same fungal disease that caused the infamous potato famine in Ireland. We have had a few plants that looked suspicious that we yanked and destroyed. We will also have the tissue examined by UVM’s plant diagnostic clinic, just to make sure. The wind has done a number on the water logged squash plants. Also, we simply have been watering and watering a bunch of seedling trays of plants that should have been in the ground 3 or 4 weeks ago, but we have not been able to plant them. If you till clay soil when its wet, you can really mess it up. The rule is that if you can squeeze the soil and roll it in your hand and it holds the shape, like clay, then its too wet to work. So we wait and wait for the sun and drying wind.
Thanks to Gail for helping out this week with the peas! And again,to all, thanks for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris, Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris
What’s in the share this week: Lettuce Mix, Shelling Peas, Fresh-Pulled Garlic bulbs, Rainbow Chard, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Oriental Eggplant, and Cabbage.
www.blueheronfarm-vt.blogspot.com CHECK US OUT ON THE WEB and LEAVE COMMENTS TOO:

Eggs for sale
We have the pretty girls’ eggs for sale – these are free-range, certified organic chicken eggs with the brightest yellow yolks you ever seen. $5.00 a dozen.

How to cook a tender, Oriental eggplant

-Eat it rawJ
-Slice in half, put olive oil on it, and put on the barbeque grill or a skillet, until brown on both sides and soft in the middle.
-slice and put in stirfry
-slice, dip in egg then flour/cornmeal (to coat) with a dab of salt and pepper put in a skillet with hot oil and fry it….mini eggplant parm – yum!

Christine’s Lunchtime Fried Eggplant

Eggplant sliced in oblong circles
Egg – 2 to 3 beaten in a separate bowl
Cornmeal, salt and pepper in a bowl together
Cast iron skillet
Oil to cover the bottom on the pan

Dip sliced eggplant (skin and all) into egg batter and then roll in the cornmeal. Batter enough of the slices and place in hot pan with oil. Let them sizzle and then after they turn tan to brown on one side, turn over and cook the next side. When all sides are brown, remove from pan and place on paper toweled plate to drain excess oil. EnjoyJ

Pirjati Zelje Braised Cabbage from Mediterranean Vegetables by Clifford Wright
Mr Wright’s notes on this recipe:Cabbage is a very popular vegetable in the Balkans. It is served raw, in the form of sauerkraut, and cooked in a variety of ways. In the northern part of the former Yugoslavia, cabbage may be cooked with sour cream or tossed with noodles and smoked bacon. In Bosnia or Montenegro, to the south and closer to Greece, cabbage is cooked with tomatoes. This recipe for braised cabbage from Slovenia (in the north hear Hungary) is typically served as a bed for a roast duckling.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil2 bay leaves1 Tablespoons tomato paste1 cup dry white wine1 2-pound head green cabbage, cored and sliced as thin as vermicelli15 black peppercorns8 juniper berries, lightly crushed1 teaspoon dried thyme1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juiceS & P to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaves, and cook them until they begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to medium and very carefully add the tomato paste and wine, which will spurt and splatter rather dramatically. Cook for a minute, then add the cabbage, peppercorns, juniper berries, and thyme. Mix the cabbage so it is covered with sauce.
2. Add the lemon juice and continue to braise the cabbage over medium heat until it softens, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, season with S and P, and cook until the cabbage is completely soft, about 45 minutes. Correct the seasoning (with S and P) and serve hot
1/4 cup1/2 cup1/2 cup3 tbsp.1 1/2 tsp.1 tbsp.1 tsp.7-8 cupsGarnishes:1/2 cup
peanut butterhot waterplus 1T rice vinegar or cider vinegarbrown sugar or honeysaltsoy saucesesame oilshredded green cabbagecrushed red pepper to tastepeanutsgrated carrotsminced fresh cilantro
In a large bowl, mash together the peanut butter and hot water until they form a uniform mix. Mix in vinegar, sugar or honey, salt, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add the cabbage in 2 cup increments, mixing well after each addition. Add red pepper to taste. Cover the bowl tightly, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, visiting it every hour or 2 to give it a good stir. Sprinkle the peanuts on top right before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon. Serves 4-6 Still Life with Menu Cookbook, Mollie Katzen

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wildlife at Blue Heron Farm


Photos by David Hoag

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Rain, Peas and Dancing

Hi - Sadie, CSA Member Gale and Christine just finished picking 92 lbs of shelling peas - we pooped Sadie out and funny thing is that we did not even finish the bed of peas?! With all this cool, wet weather we have great peas - I don't even want to think about the snow peas and the last bits of sugar snap. We will have a lot for sale at market tomorrow - let's just hope for some sun in the afternoon at least - Sadie and I are going to market ourselves because has to work off the farm tomorrow. We can do it though:)

Adam swapped days to work so he could go see Dan Zanes with us at the Waterfront well now Memorial. At least we will be dry, hopefully there will be plenty of room to dance - I am about to finish a pair of dancing pants for Ms Sadie pants - I will post a picture soon. Enjoy the puddles! And thanks Gale for singing songs to Sadie :)

CSA Journal Week 5

So what’s happening on the farm this week?
Week 5: Wow – we sure got a lot of rain this past week. It was so wet this weekend we could not step foot on the farm without ruining the soil structure. We had so much rain that when Christine was in the hoophouse trellising tomatoes, the straw mulch in the paths was moving – or rather floating around. Lucky for us a majority of our planting is on a raised bed system so I don’t think too many things got too waterlogged. All this rain has put us back about a week or two with some of transplanting and direct seeding. As soon as the fields dry up we can plant more lettuce, arugula, bok choy, etc. We just heard today that there is a potato blight in Vermont – similar to the one Ireland had many years ago – not sure how much of this is true – but we are going to look into it and see what we can do to prevent it from coming to our farm. There are some organic fungicides we can spray – we will be calling the NOFA office tomorrow for some guidance. Our potato plants are looking vibrant and we should have eggplants next week if we have some sun and we may also have some summer squash and zuchinni. We have been trying to keep ahead of the cucumber beetle – so we should have some cucumbers by the end of the month.

There are a lot of peas coming in – we have never had such a great crop – the shelling peas made their trellises fold over – due to the weight of the peas. Because of the rain, we have a lot of weeds now that need to be put under control. If you have any time, and you like to weed – please stop by – we could use the help. We can not use the tractor weed right now because of how wet the soil still is.

We went to go visit Thelma – Thelma is a jersey/devon cross 2 month old calf at our friend’s farm in Fairfield. We are leaning more to getting a calf then a full blown already milking cow – we could learn how to be good cow stewards and she could learn all about us. Sadie loves her. No we have to figure out how to get her here – we need a truck with a cap and need to do a little more research on raising baby cows and we should have her soon. She will produce milk in about 2 years or so – after she gives birth to a calf.

One other note: Our neighbor Meg will be having raspberries available for sale at pickup over the next few weeks. She will be selling them by the pint. They are raised organically and quite delicious. She just needs a bit more sun to get them ripeJ Let’s keep our fingers crossed with some sunshine and an ease into summertime weather. And again, thanks for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris, Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris

What’s in the share this week: Beets and Beet Greens, Lettuce, Snow Peas, Shelling Peas, Garlic Scapes, Herbs, Red Russian Kale,Your choice of Arugula or Brocolli, and maybe other things (I had to come in and put sadie down for a nap while adam finished picking)

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: www.blueheronfarm-vt.blogspot.com

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. Pullet Eggs will be cheaper. Our chickens are the best tillers/fertilizers on the farmJ


English Peas are easy to freeze: Blanch in boiling water. Boil peas for 1 1/2 minutes. Cool immediately and drain. Pack in freezer bags or glass canning jars and freeze.

Kale can be frozen – just chop it up and put it in a freezer bag. No need to blanch it.

Beets with greens this week – two vegetables in one. Sauté or steam the greens and then cook the beets. The beets can also be eated raw – just slice up and eat. If you have little ones – you may notice something interesting in the diaper or the potty – don’t worry – its just the beetsJ

Red Russian Kale – can be steamed, sauté or cooked in other things. You can chop it up and put it in eggs, quesadillas, enchiladas, macaroni and cheese, pasta – if you add Kale to something you do not need to precook it.

ROASTED BEETS - Just cut them into chunks and roast them with olive oil, S & P until they are tender.

Simple summer beet soup -Boil and peel beets. (can use both kinds). Whirl in food processor with orange or lemon juice, small amount of fresh mint leaves if you have some, and black pepper. Chill. Serve with plain yogurt or sourcream.

A beet suggestion from Anina Marcus, a Two Small Farms CSA member from Carmel, CA: "I would like to say what I did with the beets. I parboiled them till tender, sliced them thin and then made a vinaigrette of meyer lemon, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons honey or pomegranite molasses and then sprinkled your thinly diced mint over all that. It was so lovely. If you really want to get adventurous you can slice strawberries into that also. You get the wonderful sweet of the strawberry against the different sweet of the beet all put into balance by the meyer lemon and balsamic to offset the sugars slightly..

Honeyed Beet Quinoa Summer Salad, with variationsfrom Fresh from the Farm and Garden by The Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden
You can make many variations of this salad, with whatever vegetables/alliums/dressing I have on hand. I love using quinoa, but brown rice and couscous also work nicely. Likely other grains too. For this much salad I usually use half the amount of cheese they recommend and half the amount of nuts. Any mixture of the below herbs work well: just parsley, just cilantro, just basil, or any combo... chives, tarragon for a different flavor..... the possibilities are endless and having a salad like this on hand makes healthy lunches/dinners much easier.
4-6 beets, roasted1/4 cup honey1 1/2 cups orange juicejuice of 1 lemon1/2 cup fruity olive oil3 cups cooked quinoa, or another grain such as brown rice or couscous or??1 cup crumbled feta cheese, or shredded parmesan, or??, optional1 cup toasted walnuts or almonds, roughly chopped1/2 cup chopped basil OR cilantro1/2 cup chopped parsley6 minced green onions or 3 shallots or other mild alliumlettuce greens, ready for eating as salad
Dice roasted beets and marinate in orange and lemon juice and honey at least one hour. (Julia’s note: I warm up my honey a bit before mixing it in the juices/oil... but don’t make it too hot or it will ‘cook’ the juice and fruity oil!) Combine with other ingredients except salad greens. Chill at least one hour to allow flavors to blend. Serve on bed of salad greens.

Balsamic-Dressed Roasted Beets
A simple sweet-and-sour dressing complements earthy roasted beets. Its bright flavors make this dish a fitting accompaniment for roasted meats.
6 medium beets (about 2 1/2 pounds)1/2 cup fresh orange juice1/4 cup balsamic vinegar1 tablespoon sugar1 star anise1/2 teaspoon salt1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Leave root and 1 inch of stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Wrap beets in foil. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool beets to room temperature. Peel and cut each beet into 8 wedges. Combine juice, vinegar, sugar, and star anise in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 10 minutes). Discard star anise. Combine beets, vinegar mixture, salt, and pepper; toss well. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Two by Two

Okay, we have enough rain. The sheep and chickens are going to float away. Adam is contemplating building an ark. Let's hope the sun that is shining now will help dry stuff. It is so wet in our fields that there is small rivers alongside most of our beds. We cannot work in the fields because the when you go out there 1. you sink down to your ankles 2. we would compress the clay soil and do irreversable damage. I tried to work on the tomatoes in the hoophouse - but when I stepped on to the walkways that are mulched with 6 inches of straw - they moved - water is under them. Joy. It is slightly stressful here with the weather and the vegetables - let's hope there is sun coming over the next few days.

We are taking the opportunity to go look at a Jersey calf today at our friend's farm in Fairfield. His farm is very wet too but at least we get a break form ours.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sadie Pea Pickin

With all the pea pickin this week - I figured I should post a couple of Sadie out in the field...

Sadie picking scapes and garlic with daddy for CSA pickup

A little siesta in the lettuce mix bed

Throwing rocks - her favorite - rocks into the lake

Hmmm..what to do today?

I think I'll play :)