Wednesday, June 30, 2010


We have been quite busy on the farm this week. Uncovering the cucurbit family, cukes, zucchini, summer squash melons....we keep them covered with remay (white cloth) to protect them for as long as we can from the cucumber beetle - get them big and fat (the plants that is) and once they are about to flower - we take the cover off so Jen's bees can do all that work pollinating them. We are almost done with the smaller hoop house for the sweet peppers - hopefully today we will be putting plastic on it. We have been doing a lot of hand weeding and a lot of harvesting - we just started yesterday to pick sugar snap peas - in the two days we have picked - we have picked almost 90 lbs of sugar snap peas...All the apprentices are getting first-hand experience of the daily tasks of weeding, picking, planting and the million other things that need to be done on the farm everyday - whether it rains or it is sunny. Speaking of sunny - we could use some dry air and some sun...we don't want late blight creeping up from CT or Ohio...

Sadie is on her way to being potty trained - we are quite proud - last wednesday she woke up and said "mama I want to go on the potty today" so with many pairs of underwear and sneaky pees - we have been going at it for 5 days...there are accidents - but they are usually on the way to the potty. She even woke me up at 1:30am the other morning with "Mama I have to go PEEEEE!" We made it to the potty... Things I (we) get excited about -

This weekend was another pickup for Food For Thought - a breakfast and lunch program for children in Grand Isle County - we volunteer there and donate veggies when we can. There are over 125 kids in it - they get their boxes for the week in South Hero and in Alburgh. Lots of nutritious food - no filler foods, no high fructose corn syrup - whole grain, cheese, milk, local eggs, snacks, veggies and fruit and a book each week for the kids to keep. It is run by Kaight and Melissa out of the South Hero Congregational Church. They are always looking for volunteers or for monetary donations to keep the program running. One community member purchased 45 lbs of our sugar snap peas to donate/give to all the families yesterday. The sugar snap peas are one of the highlights to the fresh produce they get. This past weekend there was basically a washout of our farmers market in Grand Isle and we didn't come close to selling it all at the SB Farmers Market so we decided to donate it all. Blue Heron Farm donated 160 heads of lettuce, 20 napa cabbages, 24 Bok Choys, 5 Kales, and 15 Chard bunches. This had to be a highlight of our weekend - making all this fresh organic, local, produce available to our community. To see the smiles and the excitement...and the kids eating the cabbages and lettuces like apples...priceless - far better than what we would have gotten if we had sold it at farmers market.

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

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Red Leaf, Green Leaf, Butterhead, and Romaine Lettuce Heads, Sugar Snap Peas, Pac Choi, giant napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage) red or green kale, rainbow chard, cilantro, and Basil!

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.


Kale Chips - Blue Heron Farm Kitchen
Fun for kids and adults, high in vitamins!

1-2 bunches red or green kale
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
garlic (scapes or cloves) and/or balsamic vinegar
sea salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Rip up kale (with or without stems) into a mixing bowl (or into a ziplock bag if you want to keep your hands clean). Add olive oil, then chopped garlic and/or balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste, then use hands to mix in the bowl (or squeeze the bag).Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake 5-10 minutes, watching VERY carefully so they don't burn. After, keep in a brown paper bag .Enjoy! Kale chips are a delicious snack and contain tons of vitamins A and C as well as calcium, iron, protein, and fiber. Try making up your own recipe!

Sugar Snap Pea Salad With Radishes, Mint and Ricotta Salata - New York Times: June 17, 2009

3/4 cup sliced radishes
4 ounces sugar snap peas, sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1/2 bunch mint leaves, torn (about 1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch kosher salt, more to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, toss together the radishes, peas, ricotta and mint. Using a knife or a mortar and pestle, make a paste of the garlic and salt. Place in a small bowl and add the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar and stir well to combine. Drizzle in the olive oil, stirring constantly, and add pepper to taste. Pour dressing over salad and toss well to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Yield: 4 servings.

David Lebovitz Kimchi recipe
1 large head Napa Cabbage
1 gallon water
1/2 cup sea salt

1 small head of garlic, peeled and finely minced
one 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup chili paste or 1/2 cup Korean chili powder
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths (use the dark green part, too, except for the tough ends)
1 medium daikon radish, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon sugar or honey

Slice the cabbage lengthwise in half, then slice each half lengthwise into 3 sections. Cut away the tough stem chunks.. Dissolve the salt in the water in a very large container, then submerge the cabbage under the water. Put a plate on top to make sure they stay under water, then let stand for 2 hours. Mix the other ingredients in a very large metal or glass bowl.. Drain the cabbage, rinse it, and squeeze it dry. Mix it all up! Pack the kimchi in a clean glass jar large enough to hold it all and cover it tightly. Let stand for one to two days in a cool place, around room temperature. Check the kimchi after 1-2 days. If it's bubbling a bit, it's ready and should be refrigerated. If not, let it stand another day, when it should be ready. Once it's fermenting, serve or store in the refrigerator. If you want, add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds over the kimchi for serving. Storage: Many advise to eat the kimchi within 3 weeks. After that, it can get too fermented

Swiss Chard and Herb Tart

1 pound Swiss chard and or Kale, stems and ribs removed
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed

Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain. Squeeze out liquid. Chop chard.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; saut
 1 minute. Add chard; sauté until excess liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Transfer chard mixture to large bowl. Cool slightly. Mix in ricotta and next 7 ingredients.
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Roll out 1 pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 14-inch square. Transfer pastry to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim edges, leaving 1-inch overhang. Fill pastry with chard mixture. Lightly brush pastry overhang with pastry brush dipped into water. Roll out second pastry sheet to 13-inch square. Using tart pan as guide, trim pastry square to 10-inch round. Drape over filling. Seal edges and fold in.
Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Remove pan sides from tart. Transfer to platter. Cut into wedges and serve

Monday, June 21, 2010

Journal Entry June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Solstice! Lots of photosynthesis is happening for sure!! The produce is going "gangbusters" as they say, after some recent rains and all of this hot sunny weather. The peas are growing plump (we'll definitely have them next week), the beans are growing fast, and the broccoli is forming their flower stalks! It's an exciting time of the farm season. Green tomatoes are forming on the vines, the potato plants are getting bigger, the lettuce heads are beautiful and juicy (can lettuce be juicy?), the basil is getting bushy, the cukes are starting to vine out. We are excited to give you this new kind of cabbage today - it is a napa variety called Bilko. Don't worry, you can chop it and put dressing on it (like the maple/balsamic from last week) and it is delicious( we had it last night). This is a new cabbage variety for us and we love it - don't worry about the little flea beetle holes that were created - they are still very edible. This cabbage will be around for a few weeks... Oh and those once a year treats, the beloved garlic scapes - these are immature seed heads to hardneck garlic that we grow. You can eat the whole thing - enjoy, because they will only be here this week and maybe next and then we have to wait until next year.

We were glad to see all of our member families last week and we are glad the CSA season is rolling. We mentioned our apprentice farmers in the last newsletter, but they bear mentioning again this week because all of their hard work and positive, thoughtful energy has made this growing season start stronger than ever! Their presence here is a real gift we are thankful for. We are also thankful to our working members who have been coming and helping, too- Fiona, Benjamin, Jackie, Gabriel, and Natalie, Diantha, and Gail. So, Thank you for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Red Leaf, Green Leaf, Butterhead, and Romaine Lettuce Heads, Pac Choi, giant napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage) red or green kale, rainbow chard, cilantro, and Garlic Scapes!

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.

Bok Choy originally comes from China - is high in vitamin C, beta carotene, folic acid and calcium, as well as many essential minerals and it's a good source of betacarotenes, vitamins B2 and B6, folic acid, iron and magnesium, as well as calcium.Did you know...? 1 cup of cooked Bok Choy contains 15% of your recommended daily allowance of calcium - the equivalent of 1/4 pint of full fat milk.

How to store fresh cabbage and bok choy: in the fridge in a plastic bag: it should keep for a week or even several weeks. If you find a cabbage and the outer leaves look 'icky', just remove them and the inner cabbage should be fine to use. You can use cabbage and bok choy interchangeably in the recipes.

Napa Cabbage Salad

1 head napa cabbage
1 bunch minced green onions
1/3 cup butter
1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles, broken
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Finely shred the head of cabbage; do not chop. Combine the green onions and cabbage in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Make the crunchies: Melt the butter in a pot. Mix the ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds into the pot with the melted butter. Spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake the crunchies in the preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven, turning often to make sure they do not burn. When they are browned remove them from the oven. Make the dressing: In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and let cool.
Combine dressing, crunchies, and cabbage immediately before serving. Serve right away or the crunchies will get soggy.

Napa cabbage: Beyond slaw by Chris Perrin,
Looking for a healthy crunch? Need something to wrap, wok or roll? Have you tried napa cabbage? Napa cabbage is an Asian vegetable that resembles regular green cabbage, but is longer and oval-shaped. Napa cabbage has slightly more protein and fewer calories than regular cabbage and a unique taste like a mild celery or bok choy. Here are eight things you can do with this very versatile veggie. 8 Things to do with napa cabbage
1. Napa Cabbage Rolls Instead of using green cabbage, try some of the larger outer leaves of napa cabbage. Cut them in half and steam or boil them until they just turn soft and then fill with a mixture of cooked white rice and browned mild sausage or hamburger. Top with tomato sauce and bake until bubbly.
2. Quick Kimchi Kimchi is a spicy Korean side-dish, sort of like the hottest cole slaw you’ve ever eaten. Traditional kimchi can take several days to make. However, for a quick at-home version, combine a few cups of chopped napa cabbage, a tablespoon of sambal olek (an Eastern hot sauce), 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 4 sliced cloves of garlic, and a healthy pinch of salt. Stir well, chill overnight and then eat right out of the bowl!
3. Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry If you have eaten a Chinese dish with vegetables, you have probably eaten napa cabbage. Typically, they are white squares that look like they should be onions, but have not turned clear. To do your own napa cabbage stir-fry, peel off 20 to 25 leaves and cut off the leafy green sections until all you have is the firmer white stems. Cut the white stems into two-inch pieces. Heat some peanut oil in a wok, cook the napa cabbage for 3 to 4 minutes until it starts to soften, and then add your favorite stir-fry sauce. Cook until the sauce starts to bubble. Serve hot over rice.
4. Napa Cabbage Slaw Got a favorite cole slaw recipe? Try it with shredded napa cabbage. Napa cabbage slaw has a subtly different flavor and texture than classic cole slaw and is particularly tasty if you add fruit. For your next slaw, combine 2 cups diced mango, a finely diced jalapeno, 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 cups shredded napa cabbage, and 4 tablespoons rice or red wine vinegar. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight and serve.
5. Braised Napa Cabbage For a quick and easy side-dish, add the cut up white stems of the napa cabbage to a skillet and cover them half way with vegetable broth, ground ginger, garlic powder, and a few teaspoons of soy sauce. Cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until the napa cabbage becomes soft.
6. Napa Cabbage Spring Rolls Napa cabbage has a great crunch that’s perfect for spring rolls. Simply slice napa cabbage into thin strips and roll with cooked shrimp, rice noodles, and fresh basil in a spring roll wrapper. Serve with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, chilies and fish sauce.
7. Napa Cabbage Taco Topping Traditionally, tacos are topped with a healthy handful of lettuce. A better choice is napa cabbage, which is more flavorful and totes a crisper texture, which contrasts nicely with the taco fillings.
8. Napa Cabbage Soup Warm up with a hearty bowl of napa cabbage soup. Add a few cups of chopped napa cabbage to your favorite vegetable, chicken or beef soup; it will give your soup a lot of body and for fewer calories than most other ingredients.

Garlic Scape Ideas:
-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. 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. An excellent addition to stocks..

GARLIC SCAPE AND ALMOND (or any nuts) PESTO (Garlic scape pesto is freezable!),

Makes about 1 cup
10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup slivered almonds or walnuts (you could toast them lightly, if you'd like)
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt.
If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months.

Roasted Garlic Scapes Take the scapes and put them in a lightly oiled roasting pan, top with salt (kosher or seas 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.

5-6 cups
1 cup
1/4 cup
1 tbsp.
1/2 tsp. shredded cabbage
firmly packed cilantro leaves, minced
lime juice
each water and honey
cumin seeds
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large nonmetal bowl, mix all ingredients together.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blue Heron Farm Volume V Journal I - 2010

Welcome back to our returning members and a big welcome to our new members! We are so excited and honored to be growing food for nearly families 50 families - including yours. We have been very busy this spring and early summer planting, weeding, irrigating (lots of drip line to save the lettuce and other young greens), transplanting - the spring has flown by. New this year we have four amazing apprentices who will be living and working on the farm for the summer and into the fall. Emily is from Vermont and just graduated from Alfred University in NY. Joe is from Vermont also and is going into his senior year Dartmouth College in NH. Sophie is from Pennsylvania, came to us after her journey to Israel, and is going into her senior year at UVM. And Eric, who is back from a service trip to India, is from Texas and just graduated St Michael's College. They will be living in the back pasture with sheep and chickens as their neighbors in large canvas tents. Our hope is to impart on them our love of community, farming, feeding people and trying to live sustainably while raising a family in Champlain Islands. More news next week about the farm - way too many yummy recipes to include:)

So, Thank you for being part of our farm! Peace, Adam Farris Christine Bourque, and Sadie Farris

Luscious Spinach, pac choi, red or green kale, lettuce mix, cilantro, a little rhubarb, garden plants if you like (on farm pickup)

Adam and I have collected and read many farming, food and agriculture books and we would like to share them with you. There is a sign out sheet in the farmstand – we have books like Omnivore’s Dilemma, Harvest, cookbooks, etc.

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.
Christine’s Note: Honestly everything this week can be eaten raw – tossed in a salad all together – well maybe not the rhubarb – that is a bit sour tasting. The greens including the pac choi can be lightly sauted with a little olive oil, some tamari (soy sauce) or steamed. You can add these items in uncooked ine mac and cheese, omelets, quiches, pizza, really anything - including smoothies.

Sweet Maple and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing(Angelic Organic Kitchen)

1 c. olive oil
3 TBL maple syrup
2 TBL balsamic vinegar

1 TBL freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teasp dry mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
freshly ground pepper

Combine the oil, maple, vinegar, , lemon juice, dry mustard and garlic in a large jar. With the lid tightly screwed on, shake the jar vigorously until the oil and vinegar have thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste and shake again to combine. Store the dressing in the fridge for up to two weeks. To serve, toss it with salad greens or grilled or steamed vegetables.

Rhubarb Soda By Carrie Floyd, from the Culinate Kitchen collection

1½ cups rhubarb, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
1½ cups water
~ Sparkling water
~ Ice
Place rhubarb, sugar, and 1½ cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the syrup is bright pink. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Strain syrup into a large jar. To make each soda, measure ¼ cup rhubarb syrup into a glass. Add enough sparkling water to fill the glass ⅔ full. Stir to mix, then add ice.
White Beans and Greens Bruschetta By Kim Carlson, from the Culinate Kitchen collection

2 cups cooked white beans, drained
2 small garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. crushed red-pepper flakes
~ Salt
1 bunch kale
4 slices sourdough bread, or 8 slices rustic baguette
In a medium bowl, gently combine the beans, garlic, rosemary, ¼ cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and red-pepper flakes. (Be careful not to break up the beans.) Set aside for at least an hour, to allow the flavors to blend. Fifteen minutes before serving, stack the kale leaves on a cutting board and slice into ½-inch ribbons. Heat a wok (not nonstick) or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes; add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the kale, and stir-fry until the leaves are wilted and the stem sections are no longer tough, about 8 minutes. Brush bread slices on both sides with remaining olive oil; grill or broil until browned but not crunchy. To serve, top bread with beans and greens.

Spiced Spinach with Almonds From the book The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Culinate editor’s notes: Adding spices, almonds, and currants to spinach revitalizes a familiar vegetable and turns it into a substantial side dish. As Kasper notes, you can also make this 17th-century recipe with kale, turnip and radish greens, chard, beet greens, dandelions, and escarole. Just parboil these more sturdy leaves first before proceeding with the recipe. Kasper recommends using the spiced spinach to stuff poultry or pasta, but it’s also good with baked fish. The cheeses or nuts can be left out if desired.
2 lb. fresh spinach, stems trimmed to base of leaves, or other greens (see Note)
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup minced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon, or to taste
~ Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg, or to taste
5 Tbsp. blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
2 Tbsp. currants
½ cup (4 oz.) ricotta
~ Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (4 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
Wash the spinach, but do not dry it. Set the spinach in a pot with the water that clings to its leaves and cook, covered, over medium heat until the leaves are wilted but still a bright green. Drain the spinach and shock it in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again. Squeeze out the excess moisture and coarsely chop. Sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the spinach, cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds, and currants. Sauté another 2 minutes, or until heated through. Stir in the ricotta and warm it through. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and serve. Notes If using mature greens with thick stems, remove the stems. The stems of chard and beet greens can be cut into squares and cooked with the leaves. Fibrous greens like dandelion and winter kale should be parboiled until just tender, then shocked in ice water and drained.

Rhubarb Crumble From the Matthew Amster-Burton collection
Filling Topping
1 lb. (about 4 stalks) rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 oz. (⅛ cup) sugar
¼ oz. (½ Tbsp.) butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. arrowroot starch or cornstarch,
dissolved in a couple of teaspoons of water
2½ oz. (½ cup) all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
2 oz. (4 Tbsp.) butter, cold and diced
1¼ oz. (¼ cup) sugar
1¼ oz. (¼ cup, loosely packed) brown sugar
¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
¼ cup rolled oats (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the filling ingredients in a saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the sugar is well dissolved, about five minutes. Turn out into a small baking dish, such as a pie plate or square baking pan. Combine the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture with your hands until you achieve a coarse, powdery texture. Stir in the sugars and the optional nuts and oats. Pour the topping evenly over the rhubarb filling. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and well-browned. Let cool at least five minutes before serving; serving at room temperature is fine. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.