Tuesday, July 7, 2009

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)

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