Saturday, December 3, 2011

Farmers Market TODAY!

Hey Everbody - Farmers' Market today at the Congregational Church of South Hero from 10-2. WE'll be there with Arugula, Baby Kale (with Kale chip recipes), Sweet Salad turnips, eggs, chow chow, celery, pumpkins, acorn squash, bok choy, pickled banana peppers, wool, yarn from our sheep...and cookies - There is a cookie walk with over 100 kinds of cookies - we are bringing some too - Wine cookies and Pizelles - the cookie walk is to benefit Food for Thought - summer lunch program for kids in the Islands. See you there.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A mini journal post

HI everyone-

Hope your fall and into winter is going well. This weather is truly unbelieveable. If we didn't have that real cold snap a few weeks ago we would have had shelling peas. But...the greens in the field are still growing - slowly but very sweet arugula, kale, turnips, celery, bits of chard, napa cabbage - all holdling on and ignoring that tomorrow is December 1st. The chickens are still outside - fertilizing for next year's crops for us.

We are starting to meet with mortgage companies next week to get the financing to buy this land and to build a house (where we currently live). It is exciting and daunting all at the same time. We are still plan on conserving all 30 acres with the Vermont Land Trust and selling our development rights. Hopefully if all the fundraising and financing comes through - we will be closing in March sometime.

Christine will be taking a Whole Farm Planning course over the winter for women farmers to help us plan for the future of our farm with our new land security. Delia turns one in a weeks and half and Sadie turns 4 in 2.5 weeks - time flies. We are busily getting the last bales of hay in and securing buildings and hoophouses.

You can also order produce from us at and pick out Grand Isle pickup. We will also be at the SOuth Hero Farmers Market this Saturday from 10-2 with lots of goodies - and girls:)

:) Thanks,

Friday, November 18, 2011

Farmers Market SATURDAY load up for thanksgiving

Farmers Market TOMORROW (Saturday)
at Congregational Church of SOuth Hero from 10-2pm. We will have loads of goodies including cabbage, arugula, bok choy, pickled peppers, piccalilly, chow chow, hot pepper jelly, celery, eggs, greens, maybe tomatoes, yarn, little cutie, and more..bring a friend:)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Journal Post for the week of October 17, 2011

OCTOBER 17, 2011
Week 18- WOW- hard to believe we are on the last day of CSA season! At the end of this topsy-turvy season of extremes, we feel grateful for all of the wonderful folks who made this season possible and enjoyed the bounty! Even though the farm is totally saturated with water, and our time is being soaked up with kids, animals, and off-farm jobs (Adam's), we are excited about the growing life of this little family farm! You all are a big part this.

Even though the CSA is "officially" ending this week, we'll still have a bunch of greens such as kale, lettuce mix, and arugula, winter squash, bok choy, celery, ground cherries, eggs, yarn, and potatoes (if they don't rot in the ground!) available into the winter months. You can ALWAYS give us a call or come by the farmstand to see what's available. We will also likely have "call back" to pick up some luscious English peas that are starting to get plump. but were not yet ready for harvest- so watch your email for a note about this for next week!! We want to make sure you all get some. We are experimenting this year with growing greens in our newest, biggest hoop house (where the tomatoes and crazy basil were), so the good stuff will keep growing well into December, and possibly will start to grow again (if they survive) when they days start getting longer again. We hope it works out.

We have a few exciting last pick-up treats this week, all crops that waited for the weeds to die and for cooler weather to flourish! "Grand Isle" celery- sweet and flavorful for your favorite soups and stews. Also, we have carrots that have held out and grown and now taste wonderful. The potatoes were simply too muddy to mess with - like river going down the paths...and the green onions are taking an extended bath in the field.

ANNOUNCING: FALL HOEDOWN/FARM WORK PARTY October 29 from 8am - 12noon then a potluck lunch, pickup some potatoes and english peas and music

Meeting at the farmstand at 8am - we have various tasks to complete and would love all of your help putting parts of the farm to "bed" for the season. We will have all sorts of tasks available. From shoveling barns and chicken coops to picking peas and potatoes to cleaning stakes out of the field to planting in the hoophouses to whatever needs to be done.

We will have a list and folks that will lead each task. When you arrive at 8 (or when you can get there) you can join a "crew" and get dirty(to work). AT noon we will break for a yummy potluck lunch and music and maybe some other treats. You will all go home with farm produce including potatoes, english peas and beans and more. Families are welcome - young and old - no matter what your ability - there is a job for you. Bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, water bottle. Early next week we will be posting some of the jobs that are available to do that day. Bring the whole family - work'em, feed'em, and then nap :)

If you could, please RSVP- so we know how much desert to make:) and how many jobs we can get done. A crob mob - Blue Heron Style:) Look forward to seeing you all -

Oh and if you are on facebook - look for us. we are there - and we are posting a few times a week..

Oh yes one more thing - we are part of the Grand Isle - - check it out - pickups are on Fridays.

Thanks for reading - see you all soon. Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia

PS Please also check out our story at the Vermont Land Trust Website:


Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color "Island Oatmeal." Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. 17.00 skein. Also available wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal - $9 for 4 ounces.

Recipes, Etc...
Celery: Celery contains phytochemicals called phthalides, which some studies have shown reduce stress hormones and work to relax the muscle walls in arteries, increasing blood flow. As a result, it has long been used in Chinese medicine to help control high blood pressure. Celery is an excellent source of vitamins K and C, and a very good source of potassium, folate, dietary fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and vitamin B6. --Martha Rose Shulman
Celery and Potato Soup
This light puree is more celery than potato. The potato thickens the soup, a simple potage that is brought to life by the tiny amount of walnut oil that’s drizzled onto each serving.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large or 2 medium leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and sliced
6 celery stalks, sliced (about 3/4 pound)
Kosher salt
1 medium-size russet potato, about 10 ounces, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved, green shoots removed
A bouquet garni made a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs each parsley and thyme, tied together
7 cups water or chicken stock
Freshly ground pepper
For garnish:
2 teaspoons walnut oil
1/4 cup very thinly sliced celery
chopped chives or chervil (optional)

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat, add the onion, leek, and celery, and cook gently, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt after the first 5 minutes. Make sure that the vegetables do not color.Add the potatoes, garlic, and bouquet garni. Stir together and add the water or stock. Bring to a simmer, add salt to taste, cover and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender and the broth fragrant. Remove from the heat.Remove the bouquet garni from the soup. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup (or you can put it through the fine blade of a food mill or use a regular blender, working in batches and placing a kitchen towel over the top to avoid splashing). Then strain through a medium strainer (this step is important; otherwise the soup will be stringy), using a pestle or the bottom of a ladle to push the soup through. Make sure to scrape the outside of the strainer so that all of the puree goes back into the soup. Return to the pot, stir with a whisk to even out the texture, heat through and season well with salt and pepper.. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each bowl with a few thin slices of celery and about 1/4 teaspoon walnut oil. Sprinkle with minced chives or chervil if you wish, and serve.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Journal Post for the week of October 10, 2011

OCTOBER 10, 2011

Just when we all thought that fall was really closing in on us, the sun came back out and warmed up the fields! This meant that the green beans, eggplant, and peppers all got a boost and are still producing wonderfully, and the soil has dried up enough to walk through the fields without sinking. Hopefully we'll be able to hold on to this lovely warmth for a couple more weeks.
We were able to begin planting our winter greens in the tomato hoophouse this weekend. We have kale and pac choi, and soon the broccoli and cabbage will join them! The hoophouses mean that we can really extend our season, which is so important when you think about how short the Vermont growing season can be, especially this year. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all the farmers in southern Vermont and the Intervale in Burlington who had to cut their season short due to floods and damaged produce. Despite all the complications of this summer, we are so proud to be able to see you through another two CSA weeks.
In other farm news, Texi the baby cow (who is really not much of a baby anymore) found his way into the barn with the little boy sheep on Sunday. It seems that he just wanted to play with some animals his own age, but the sheep weren't exactly interested in playing "headbutt the new guy" as much as Texi was. Luckily Ashlyn got Texi back to his mom, and he was soon distracted by all the lush grass in the pasture. The sheep seem to have forgotten it ever happened.
Once again, many thanks to all of you who have continued to support Blue Heron Farm this year, whether through your CSA share, donations, or volunteer time. We couldn't do it without you! The harvest always tastes sweetest when shared with those you love. We hope you can share this week's bounty with your loved ones! Peace from your farmers, Adam, Christine, Sadie, Delia, Ashlyn and Sophie

Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color "Island Oatmeal." Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. $17.00 skein. Also available: wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal - $9 for 4 ounces.

Lori's Skillet Smashed Potatoes
(from 101 Cookbooks, a wonderful website to peruse when looking for seasonal ideas for your CSA produce!

one bag of small potatoes
salt & pepper
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil

Start by placing the potatoes in a large saucepan. Add a teaspoon of salt and cover with water. Don't peel the potatoes, because the skin helps keep the potatoes together. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil until they are tender enough to slide a knife in easily. It is important not to over-boil them, for golf ball size potatoes about 10 minutes or less. Drain the potatoes and refrigerate until you are ready to brown them in a large skillet.
Heat the olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Keep in mind it needs to be big enough to hold the potatoes, which double in size when they are smashed. Smash each potato with a masher or the bottom of a heavy glass. Season with salt and pepper and cook until crisp, and then turn and cook the other side. Sprinkle with chives, fresh herbs, whatever and serve.
Blue Heron Tip: Try adding some chopped hot peppers, onion and garlic to the pan before adding cooked potatoes. Chop up some arugula and green onions and add to the pan after everything is fully cooked. Top off with some Vermont cheddar and you've got the perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Roasted Eggplant Soup

3 medium tomatoes, halved
about 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme/ 1 tsp dried
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
3/4 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on a large baking sheet, or two smaller ones if you, like me, have a tiny oven. Brush or drizzle vegetables with oil then roast them for 20 minutes, pausing only to remove the garlic cloves, and returning the pans to the oven for another 25 minutes, until the remaining vegetables are tender and brown in spots. Remove from oven and scoop eggplant from skin into a heavy, large saucepan or soup pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, the thyme and the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until onion is very tender, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until it is as smooth as you’d like it to be. (Or, if you have an immersion blender, you can do this in the pot.) Back in the pot, add the cream and bring the soup back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in four bowls, sprinkled with goat cheese. Play around with spiciness if you want (try adding some Blue Heron Farm peppers!)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Journal Post for the week of Ocotber 3, 2011

OCTOBER 3, 2011
Week 16- There are TWO more pickups after this one. With a possible surprise event at the last pickup. Stay tuned.
So with the change of weather, we have all gotten the sniffles. This farmer mama woke up from a nap yesterday (you know when this mama is sick - real sick- when she takes to a nap with her girls) and couldn't breathe. Very scary experience - I was having a cold induced asthma attack - I was all crinkly in my chest. Luckily, good friends (Donna Sue and Michael and Ashlyn) came over to watch the girls and Adam took me into the ER - where I got a nebulizer treatment, chest xray and inhaler. I was released with strict orders of laying low for a few days. How do you tell a mama farmers that? And how do you do it? Well with some balancing and a very patient husband, hardworking intern Ashlyn and Aimee, Charlie and Daniel to play with the girls - I was able to nap in this morning and take it easy. Thanks to all who have helped out.
It rained real well here over the weekend. Our soil can't take anymore up - its making puddles. We were hoping to pull up potatoes for you today but - um - I think we would sink into our knees and wreak havoc on the soil. We think next week - if we get sun you will get beans, celery and potatoes and more.
Thanks go out to our die hard volunteer Diantha, Gail, Cordelia, Fiona, Benjamin and our Intern Ashlyn. I don't know where we would be without all of you. On Friday last, Cordelia and Ashlyn, single handedly cleaned out the large hoophouse. This is no small feat. All out hoophouse tomatoes (days are too short for them and they started to get some diseases - don't worry we are ripening them in the barn for you), all the sweet peppers, and basil. With that being said - this is the week to make PESTO - make loads of it! We have literally buckets of basil in front of the farmstand waiting to go home with you and be turned into pesto. I have included a pesto recipe - you do not need to use pinenuts - heck you do not need to use any nuts - I usually use no nuts or use walnuts or pecans. I also freeze it with the cheese in it - I know I know the foodies in the world say put the cheese in afterwards - um...I think it tastes grand with it - knowing it is one last step I have to balance while I am cooking with two on my hip. I also freeze it in a log like shape wrapped in parchment paper and then plastic wrap then into a plastic freezer bag and slice as much as I need. Have fun with it. The more work you put in it now - true yummy convenience food come January.
Thanks for reading - see you all soon. Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Intern Ashlyn

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, CILANTRO, LETTUCE MIX, ARUGULA, GARLIC, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Green Onions, TOMATOES, Winter Squash, PYO Ground Cherries, and a few other things - Best guess for the week.

Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color "Island Oatmeal." Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. 17.00 skein. Also available wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal - $9 for 4 ounces.

NUTRITION NOTES about peppers (from The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, Sheldon Margen, M.D.): Perhaps the most surprising feature of peppers is their nutritiousness: They are excellent sources of many essential nutrients, especially vitamin C - by weight, green bell peppers have twice as much as citrus fruits (red bells have three times as much.) Hot peppers contain even more vitamin C, 357 percent more than an orange. Moreover, red peppers are quite a good source of beta carotene. Red peppers are higher in beta carotene than green peppers: A sweet red pepper provides nearly 11 times as much beta carotene as a sweet green one; hot red peppers contain nearly 14 times as much as their green counterparts. Furthermore, sweet red peppers have one and a half times as much Vitamin C as sweet green peppers; the vitamin C content of red and green hot peppers is the same.
About Basil: Researchers report that basil contains antibacterial compounds, which make the essential oil great for treating skin conditions. In India it is used in a kind of aroma therapy and is said to give people sattva, enlightenment and harmony. In Arabian countries it has long been used to alleviate menstrual cramps.
Fresh Basil Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts or pecans or none
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices. Makes 1 cup.
Real Basil Cheesecake from the Madison Herb Society Cookbook

2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup basil leaves, destemmed
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup crushed graham crackers or vanilla wafers

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In food processor or mixer, lightly beat eggs. Add sour cream, sugar, basil, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Add cream cheese, 1/2 pound at a time, and process to incorporate. Spread softened butter on bottom and halfway up sides of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Cover buttered area with cookie crumbs, pressing to be sure they stick. Pour in cheesecake batter and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Run a knife around edges of cake as soon as it comes out of oven. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes then remove the side of pan. Finish cooling. Cut with dental floss into thin wedges. Ten servings.
Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salad adapted from The Vegetable Market Cookbook by Robert Budwig

3 sweet peppers
4 ripe tomatoes
1/4 preserved lemon (or 2 teaspoons grated zest with some of the lemon's juice)
2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed pinch sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 t black pepper

Grill or roast peppers, remove skins, cut into small cubes and set aside. Blanch tomatoes for 15-20 seconds in boiling water. Drain and remove skins and stems. Cut in half and remove seeds. Cut into small cubes. Rinse the preserved lemon under running water and remove the pulp. Cut the rind into fine dice. Arrange peppers, tomatoes and lemon in a dish. Mix remaining ingredients to make a dressing and pour over the salad. Mix well.
Multi Pepper Salad with Fontina adapted from From the Cook's Garden by Ellen Ogden

1.5 pounds Sweet peppers, roasted and cut into 1/4 inch strips
12 black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and coarsely chopped
6 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1.5 cups)
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely chopped cutting celery OR tarragon OR parsley
1/4 cup best extra virgin olive oil
S & P to taste

Combine the peppers, olives, and cheese. Mix the cream, lemon juice, mustard, and herb in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season with the S & P. Pour over the peppers and mix. Serve immediately.
Romesco Sauce for Crostini, Pasta, or as a vegetable dipper

4 large roasted yellow, orange, and or red peppers
1/2 cup toasted almonds
2 cloves garlic
1 ripe tomato
1 tsp salt
2 thick slices from a baguette
1 tsp paprika
½ cup or less olive oil
Fresh basil leaves if available
2-4 Tablespoons sherry vinegar

Whirl everything in a food processor.
Sweet Pepper and Lentil Soup
inspired by a recipe in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Hensperger and Kaufmann
2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, or 2 leeks, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly purchased paprika or smoked paprika
1-3 sweet peppers, depending on their size, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup dried brown or black lentils, picked over and rinsed
5 cups broth or water
S & P to taste (at least an entire teaspoon of salt for this one)
1-2 Tablespoons champagne or sherry or rice vinegar to finish the soup

Cook the onion in 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat in a skillet until the onion/leeks begin to soften. Stir in paprika and allow it to cook for about a minute more. Add the chopped sweet pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until everything begins to soften. Scrape all this into a slow cooker. Add the lentils and broth (or water) and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the lentils are completely soft, 7-9 hours. Season the soup with S & P (more salt if you used water, less if you used purchased broth), and last Tablespoon olive oil. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of one of the vinegars, adding more if needed. Serve hot.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Journal Post for the week of September 26, 2011

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011
Week 15- Thanks for all the well wishes and letters of support last week. We did receive VHCB funding for conserving the farm - only two more really big hurdles to go - local fundraising for the rest of the money needed to conserve the farm and for us to get a mortgage for the land. Thanks again - you are all so wonderful!

Three more pickups after this week. Yet to come - some sweet baby carrots, celery, chard, kale, haukerei turnips, a new round of baby lettuces and arugula, young tender green beans, more potatoes, winter squash and more - I think we will finish strong. And we will have more of the other veggies too. We will be pulling out the hoophouse tomatoes and peppers this week to make room for late/fall and winter crops. The tomatoes n the hoophouse are having trouble turning red - with the cooler night temperatures and a whole lot more moisture in the air. So we are going to pick them all and let them ripen in the barn. In that very large hoophouse we are going to try to grow chard, spinach, broccoli, kale, bok choy, and a few others and see how it goes..

We are putting fields to bed and getting ready for next year already. Trying to have some good days in a row so we can get the last bit of hay off the land for the sheep, cows and chickens for the winter. This is the last week of sweet corn - we picked the last of it last night (Sunday) - not sure if Thursday folks will get some (thats why you have been getting a bit extra each week of corn just in case this was going to happen). Sweet corn is best eaten within a day or so of eating - its the sweetest then. It still tastes fine after that - you just miss that candy like window - I think - but hey, I have cooked corn up that was a week old and it still was great! You will notice you have quite a bit of eggplant this week - the eggplants have put on a flush for us this week. So I will not ramble on too long - so I can put in lots of recipes for it. Please come and PYO ground cherries and sungolds - sungolds are definitely on their way out due to the cooler temps and longer amounts of dew on the plants. The ground cherries we should keep having to until frost or so..

THe green beans in your share this week were a bit of a surprise for us. We had already picked this planting twice maybe even three times and then cut them back and then - after all that sun and then rain and then a bit more sun - bam! we have some beans - some beans to tie us over until the fall beans come in. We will be moving to a younger planting of lettuce and arugula next week.

This is Adora's last week with us. She's been interning with us since the beginning of June. She'll be leaving on Thursday. We have had a grand time with her and learned much from her and we wish her the best in her adventures that lie before her. Good Luck Adora in your travels.

Thanks for reading - see you all soon. Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Interns Ashlynn and Adora

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, CILANTRO, SWEET CORN, LETTUCE MIX, ARUGULA, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, PYO Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Green Onions, TOMATOES, PYO Ground Cherries, Green Beans, and a few other things - Best guess for the week.

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.

Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color "Island Oatmeal." Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. 17.00 skein. Also available wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal - $9 for 4 ounces.

Eggplant Gratin "Almodrote de Berenjen" adapted from Joyce Goldstein's Sephardic Flavors
Those of you who enjoy eggplant might want to check out Joyce Goldstein's book Sephardic Flavors. It is a fascinating look at the foods and culture the Jews took with them into the Arab world when they were expelled from Spain by the Catholics in 1492. (
4 pounds largish eggplants 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 slices country bread, soaked in water, and squeezed dry, 4 eggs, 6 ounces fresh white cheese, crumbled (such as ricotta or feta) 1/2 pound gruyere or kashkaval cheese, grated 1/3 cup sunflower or olive oil 1 to 2 teaspoons salt black pepper to taste 3 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Bake the whole eggplants on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. You can also broil them for 20 minutes, turning often. Transfer to a colander. When cool enough to handle, strip away the skin and remove the large seed pockets. Place the pulp on a cutting board and chop coarsely. Return it to the colander and let drain for 10 to 20 minutes to release the bitter juices. You should have 2 to 2 ½ cups pulp. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 7 x 11 baking dish. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and mash well with a fork. Add the bread, eggs, crumbled cheese, and all but 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese, and all but 2 Tablespoons of the oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese and the remaining oil over the top. Bake until golden and set, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot directly from the dish.
Princess Eggplant from Julia

2 pounds smallish white or purple eggplants
3 tablespoons peanut or safflower oil
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch chard, washed and roughly chopped (it's ok to leave water on the leaves)
1 bunch parsley or cilantro, chopped
sauce: Mix together with a bit of water:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
Tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 Tablespoon black bean sauce

Cut the eggplants into large-ish bite-sized pieces. Cook them over high heat in the oil, after 2 minutes, add the garlic and stir often, until the eggplants are mostly cooked through. Add the chard and mix in until it's wilted some, about 1 or 2 minutes.Add the sauce to the still-hot eggplant mixture. STIR in the parsley or cilantro just after removing from the heat, serve with rice.
Fragrant Broiled and Pureed Eggplant adapted from Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider
This recipe suits any large eggplants - ones with a large proportion of flesh to skin. Season, broil until smoky and squishy, drain, and puree. Do not trim off the stems, which act as handles during preparation. Serve as a salad course, accompanied by olives, sliced tomatoes, and breadsticks or toasted pita triangles. Or thin puree slightly to offer as a dip with raw fennel and other vegetable strips. Allow to mellow overnight before serving. Mince feathery fennel tops to sprinkle over the dip.

3 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground anise, fennel or allspice
about 2 Tablespoons flavorful olive oil
2 or 3 eggplants of equal size (to total about 2.5 pounds)
1 teaspoon sugar
½ Tablespoon kosher salt
about 1/3 cup whole-milk yogurt or a smaller quantity of thick drained (‘Greek’) yogurt to taste
Black pepper or ground hot pepper to taste
Preheat broiler. Cut garlic into long slivers or slices. Combine in cup with coriander, cumin, anise, and 1/4 teaspoon oil; mix well. With knife tip, cut deep slits in eggplants. Holding slits open with knife, insert garlic. When garlic is used up, rub eggplants with any remaining spice mixture. Place eggplants in a baking pan as far from broiling element as possible. Broil, turning once, until skin wrinkles and blackens and eggplants collapse - about 20-30 minutes, depending upon size of eggplants and type of broiler. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand about 10 minutes. Holding stem of one still hot eggplant, gently remove skin with a small knife. Discard skin along with stems. Place flesh in a strainer to drain as you peel remaining eggplant (s). Combine eggplant flesh, sugar, and salt in food processor and pulse to barely mix. Pulsing, gradually add yogurt to taste, then add remaining oil. Do not puree until smooth - some texture is nice. Scrape into a bowl. Add pepper and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate overnight. Season before serving, preferably at room temperature.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Journal Post for the week of September 19, 2011

SEPTEMBER 19, 2011
Week 14- If there were such a thing as a foodie's dream share - this would be the week - the only thing that would make it perfect would a watermelon or cucumber to add to it all. Sweet Corn - crunchy bursts of butter and sweetness leaking out the corners of your mouth, late summer sweetness and saltiness of those heirloom tomatoes, the super sweetness of sungolds and ground cherries that have been ripened in the warm glow of the sun all day - just in time for you to pick them. The Lettuce and arugula - so tender and sweet and the right amount of pepperiness. Drizzle some homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette with a dash of pureed raspberries. Banana Fingerling potatoes that are so buttery when you roast them in the oven, or sauté them in the pan with a little olive oil or toss them with onions and garlic and put them on the grill. Basil that makes every person smile when they smell it, touch it, eat it over tomatoes, over pasta, over eggs or just straight up. Spaghetti Squash with its taste of fall and coziness..The hot peppers that give that kick when you need it. And those sweet peppers, that Miss Sadie loves to snack on in the field, in the car, in the house, with a mouse.. :) Okay I think I need to stop now - I think drool has hit my keyboard.

We picked over 300 ears of corn this morning - All for you. Don't worry Thursday crew - you'll get fresh corn too - yours will be picked Thursday morning. Did you know that sweet corn starts to lose it sweetness moments after it is picked..don't worry it is still plenty sweet when you will get it. Did you know that you get one ear of corn per plant? How was it last week? Did you try it raw? We love it raw - we also like to soak it for a few minutes and then grill it with the husks on - just to carmelize some of those sugars - yum! (again the drool is starting...) You can also freeze the corn, blanch it, then cut the corn off and freeze it first on a cookie sheet, then put into quart size bags. Enjoy it all winter long. We are not bringing it to market - so eat up - this is for you. I am glad we waited to plant it - I am fine with sweet corn in September especially this year - because at least we have it. It may not be in the hey day of summer - those red and white checkered tablecloths with potato salad and sweet corn in July - but hey, I like it now with the leaves starting to turn and being able to enjoy it with my family and friends. Sweet corn is sweet corn - regardless if its ready in July or September. I am not in it to win the race to have the first sweet corn or the first red tomato - we are in it to feed us and you.

The rumors are true - we have discovered Late blight in the heirloom tomato field. This devastating disease is horrific - one day you have beautiful mouth watering tomatoes and the following day round brown poop spots on your tomato - you can not eat it, you can not can these tomatoes, it awful. It is sucha a waste. As I type this (while one is napping and the other nusing) the interns and Sophie are picking tomatoes that maybe able to be spared and ripen in the barn. After we pick the tomatoes, we will pull all the tomatoes up either burn them or tarp them to kill the spores. We still have potatoes in the field - yellow, kennebec, red and fingerling and we don't want them to get it. Also, we want to save the peppers, eggplants, and hoophouse tomatoes. So there maybe green tomatoes in your share this week. Also we are sorry if one day your beautiful heirlooms are beauties and the next they are brown. That's how this blight works - it may take a day or two to infect the tomato. But it could be worse. Its about 1000 feet of tomatoes at the end of September that needs to be pulled out - unlike 2 years ago when we got it - 1500 feet at the end of July - July 29th (day will live in Infamy) we hadn't harvested one dang tomato and had to kill them all to save the pepper and potato crops.. We also could have lost them a few weeks ago during the tropical storm. Late blight cannot survive in our vermont soils as long as we have a cold winter - it can only live on live tissue - so we will have to be extra vigilant on volunteer potatoes next year - because potatoes are live tissues. Seeds are not until they germ. So volunteer renegade tomatoes will not spread it next year. We could have sprayed copper on our tomatoes - but seriously - I do not want my kids or your kids or you or me eating copper. Imagine hand washing over 600lbs of tomatoes every week? Making sure all that blue copper is out of the cracks and folds which make the heirloom tomato bodacious. We kept them weeded, grass trimmed, tied up (thanks Ashlyn) and loads of air circulating. We did want we we will be barn ripening tomatoes and see how it goes..

On Friday night (Adam and I have the most romantic of date nights), we picked all of the winter squash. After all the rain - that field flooded and some of the squash - well most of the squash was sitting in mud and huge puddles - I have pics if you like to see. Anyways, in the share this week will be spaghetti squash - I would eat it this week and refrigerate just in case it doesn't keep because of all the moisture it was sitting in. We have plenty of acorn and delicatas - the jury is still out on butternut and pie pumpkins. It does not look good for Carving pumpkins this year. :( Sorry - the field flooded after 5 days of nonstop rain - and other fields drain into this one. After we own this land - we will be fixing the ditch system and tiling to help elevate future flooding. Don't worry this is just field to field water - not sewer water or river water...

Folks have been asking about when we should have our shares until. Well this is week 14 so 4 more after this one - we will be going into October - with the last pickup being the Monday AFTER columbus day.

Tomorrow we go to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board to ask for funds to conserve our farm. This is exciting and scary. We are hoping that you all could keep us in your thoughts on tuesday - while we present our farm (yours and ours) to this board to tell them what we are doing and what we hope to do with this land. Thanks to all who have written little notes. They mean a lot Your support means a lot too - we will send out an email to let you all know what happens.

Anyways.. Thanks for reading - see you all soon. Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Interns Ashlynn and Adora

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, SWEET CORN, LETTUCE MIX, ARUGULA, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, PYO Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Spaghettri Squash, Heirloom TOMATOES, PYO Ground Cherries, Fingerling Potatoes, and a few other things - Best guess for the week.

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.

Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color "Island Oatmeal." Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. 17.00 skein. Also available wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal - $9 for 4 ounces.

Recipes this week are from
What on earth do I do with Spaghetti Squash? You eat it :)
Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place squash cut sides up in a microwave dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash. Add more cooking time if necessary. Let stand covered, for 5 minutes. With fork "comb" out the strands. Let it cool. ( Christine's Note: You can also do it in the oven, prepare the same way but put tin foil or cover on it and cook for 15-20 minutes at 350.)
While the squash is cooking, boil the shrimp in lightly salted water. Drain and rinse in some cold water. Peel and butterfly them after they cooled. Add to Squash.
Chop the basil coarsely and add to squash. Mix until the shrimp and basil are evenly distributed.
Mix dressing into squash mixture right before serving. There is more dressing here and is needed for a 4 lb. squash. Mix in only as much dressing as needed to your desired taste. The remaining dressing can be used as a condiment for dipping meat, seafood, and vegetables or for drizzling on plain rice. The dressing will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Mix cooked spaghetti squash with a little egg and flour. Add fresh minced ginger, white pepper and sliced green onions (but no salt). Fry like a potato pancake and serve with soy sauce. Yum!
Cook Spaghetti Squash by cutting in half and cooking like a pumpkin or butternut squash in the oven until it can be easily pierced by a fork. Gently scoop out sqush 'noodles' and serve hot with red sauce or cooled like a noodle salad with your favorite dressing.
Saute garlic and butter until the garlic is soft. Cut the squash in half and steam the squash until tender. Then separate from the shell by running a fork along the length of the squash to get spaghetti-like strands. Add to the pan and toss to coat with butter and garlic. Add fresh diced tomatoes and torn fresh basil, cook for a minute or two and add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Need a little note from all of you - TODAY - pretty please

Hi Everyone-

We look forward to seeing most of you at pickup tomorrow and through out the week at farmers markets and deliveries. We just got in from putting all the animals to bed and walking the fields and wish all of you could be here with us - at twilight. This farm is a beautiful place and we are so very lucky to farm here.

On Tuesday, yes this Tuesday, we are going in front of the Vermont Housing Conservation Board to ask for funds to conserve our farmland through the Vermont Land Trust and in partnership with the South Hero Land Trust. These funds are well over 1/2 of what we need to conserve this land - a lot of state and federal dollars. As we were walking the fields this evening- we thought how we would also like all of you there with us - to tell VHCB what you like about our farm, why you are part of this farm, and why is should be conserved - and never be developed. Through selling our development rights, we can afford to buy this land - these 30 acres that we have called home for the last 7 years AND be able to have our children or other folks children farm here when we are done farming - our future.

You all can not be in that room with us - BUT you can write a little note for us - is support of us and our farm - a note of supprt - nothing long - maybe a paragraph or so..tell them why Blue Heron Farm should be conserved and why Blue Heron Farm is important to you. You can email us this note and I can print it out or we will have index cards available for you to fill out at pickup on Monday or drop them off at our house. The only kink in all of this is that I need them all by 7pm MONDAY night 9/19/11 (tomorrow for those of you reading it tonight or today for those of you reading this on Monday).

I know I know very short notice - but sometimes these Ideas just kind of pop up even at the last minute - when you are walking in a beautiful lush field listening to sheep and cows chewing grass.

Do what you can - If you can do it - great! awesome! If you can't no problem - we totally get it - short notice and all, don't worry we won't love you any less. Just think good thought s around 10:30 on Tuesday - we'll be in randolph - presenting our farm and telling them why our little farm - deserves conservation funds.

Much love to you all - call or email if you have questions-

Feel free to write a note, write a song, draw picture (kids are encouraged too), anything that gets your voice heard to all these folks - I want them to hear your voices - of why Blue Heron Farm should receive conservation funds to continue farming right here. Right here on Quaker Road - here on this Grand little Island in the middle of Lake Champlain.

Thanks everyone-

Adam, Christine, Sadie and Delia

Monday, September 12, 2011

Journal Post for the week of September 12, 2011

SEPTEMBER 12, 2011
Week 13- Thanks for all the kind words from the last journal post. Sometimes it is just good to get all that worry and all out into the world - instead of bottled up in my head. My apologies for not posting last week - the kids had colds and teething and farming and all - there was literally no time to sit and write.- Christine

Resilient - Resilience - Resiliency - to bounce back

I feel that is where we are at. The veggies, the animals, our farm, us, Vermonters, Americans, the world - we are all in sort of a resiliency phase I feel. Recovering - trying to bounce back. As I walked the fields this week - I noticed that the chard and kale are coming back after being mowed down - being dormant for over a month- being beaten by the summer drought like conditions. I kicked some weeds around and I noticed that the chard was growing - putting on new leaves - nice tender young ones. If we pull some of the weeds away, side dress with some compost, there could be some really nice chard in a few weeks. This chard was transplanted in the beginning of June when that field finally dried out - it flourished until the sun was unrelenting and the bugs made holes. Now it is bouncing back. This chard is like life - you go through some hard stuff, take stock, and you bounce back - sometimes quickly sometimes slowly sometimes more thoughtfully - but we can bounce back - life is elastic - we don't live in a vacuum.

I want to be that chard. that kale. that grass.

Folks tell me that this is one of the most challenging times in a young family's life - balancing family, buying your first home/land, farm, work, life, relationship with your partner. I am thankful that we are not alone in this. When I ask folks who have children much older than ours - they smile and then become thoughtful - and I hear them say - I remember that time, you will survive and things will get better, they will get a bit easier. Thanks for those words. They mean a lot.

Adam and I are happy to share with you our first crop of sweet corn for the season. It is so sweet and buttery. Yummers! The interns seeded this corn into flats and then transplanted it out. Over 1000 plants. We fertilized with soy bean meal (for nitrogen - corn is a very heavy eater of nitrogen from the soil) and prayed that it would grow tall before tasseling out. We picked over 130 ears last night. Each plant has only one ear. Delia was on my back as I went through the tight rows, and picked into my skirt, feeling for the bulbous fat corn cobs. Sadie followed Adam and picked as much as she ate the raw corn. Delia even got in on the eating action. I think between all of us we ate a dozen ears just sitting there. Then we locked the corn up with electric line to hopefully keep rocky raccoon out of the corn. We are hoping to have corn this week and next for all of you. The sweet corn made it through the storm because it was tucked in by a northern hedgerow. If we hadn't had planted it there - the corn would have been destroyed. Some stalks got bent from the storm but majority did well. We do not spray pesticides on our corn - so with that being said - you may find a stray corn worm - just cut that part away and eat it up.

A neighbor was telling us that many CSA farms around the state are done for the year due to Irene. We feel very blessed and lucky for the fortune of being flooded on the early part of this season and not this later part. So very blessed. Last Saturday - a week ago - we had a collection with the rest of the Champlain Islands Farmers Market and we were able to send $800 donated from the market, vendors and customers to the Vermont Farm Fund. We are still looking to do other things to help out. We will let you all know.

Also, we are not done, our CSA is still going - and we are hoping to go through the middle of October or so - mother nature willing. We still have fall potatoes, beans, shelling peas, turnips, kale, chard, spinach, winter squash and pumpkins to come and more. We like growing in the month of September - the soil is warm, the sun is kinder to our tender plants and our bodies, and the pests seem to go away- i.e. flea beetle - our arugula is out flying in the breeze - without row cover - with one or two flea beetles here or there.. potato bugs are already hibernating or moved on. What pest that likes this weather our plant diseases with the dew being heavier and the mornings being cooler. Anyways..
Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Interns Ashlynn and Adora
WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, GARLIC, SWEET CORN, LETTUCE MIX, ARUGULA, OKRA Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Heirloom TOMATOES, PYO Cherry tomatoes, PYO Ground Cherries, Cilantro,

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.

Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color "Island Oatmeal." Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. 17.00 skein. Also available wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal - $9 for 4 ounces.


Sun dried (ahem) tomato candy

In our house, there is a favorite candy - tomato candy. We pick loads of sungold cherry tomatoes. Slice them in half and then put them in our dehydrator. About 145 degrees for about 12 hours - until they are completely dry. We then put them in a mason jar and put them either in the pantry or if I am not sure if they are completely dry in the fridge. We then use them in everything and anything - sometimes rehydrate them in some oil. Toss them with some pasta, put them on pizza with some soft annie cheese or goat cheese, put them in our basil pesto, or just eat them like..candy. Sadie loves them.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes -
Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil
Herbs such as thyme or rosemary (optional)
Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry or grape tomato crosswise, or Roma tomato lengthwise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle herbs on, if you are using them, and salt and pepper, though go easily on these because the finished product will be so flavorful you’ll need very little to help it along.Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside–this could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes. Either use them right away or let them cool, cover them with some extra olive oil and keep them in the fridge for the best summer condiment, ever. And for snacking.
Pasta with roasted tomatoes - Candance Page - Burlington Free Press - September 11, 2011

Sufficient small plum or cherry tomatoes, halved, to cover a large, rimmed cookie sheet
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
Garlic, to taste
1/3 cup fresh basil
3/4 to 1 pound pasta, ideally rombi but fusilli or penne certainly would work
Fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil and cover it with tomatoes, cut side up. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Roast tomatoes for 1 hour. They can be used as-is, or cooled and cut into smaller pieces. Slice garlic — up to 1 full head — thinly. Sautee garlic slowly in olive oil. Cook until the garlic is soft but do not allow it to brown. Cook the pasta. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. In a large bowl, toss the pasta, pasta water, garlic/olive oil, basil and tomatoes. Divide among four pasta bowls and pass the Parmesan.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Journal Post for the week of August 29, 2011

AUGUST 29, 2011
Week 11-As the rain picked up, things seemed to go in fast forward, our bodies moved quicker, our language moved quicker, our daughters knew they needed to listen and follow without question. On Sunday, after church the rain came down harder and harder and we still needed to get food out to the chickens and water the sheep in the barn and get the last two sheep in from the field - 21 in all. Sheep in the back of the minivan - rain pouring down - raincoat not working - why wear it - we are near our home, we will be dry soon. Sheep out of the minivan - now to get them all water - make sure the cows have plenty of hay and water inside the barn - more rain the wind is picking up - the girls go inside the house with their auntie - Adam is putting the last boards on the hoophouses to tie down the sides - did you know that insurance companies do not insure hoophouses because they are seen as not permanent buildings - even their worth is over 25K combined. Adam is in the rubber rain gear on the tractor - he looks like those fruit slice candies orange and bright yellow - he is putting the tractor's bucket up against the wall of one of our hoophouses. The wind is picking up - need to get food out to the chickens - the chickens roof has sprung a leak - the worse smell in the world is wet chicken - they were outside getting soaked and getting a little airborne. Adam t-boned their trailers together so they could support themselves in the tropical storm. Put buckets in the chicken trailers so the water can collect - jack the chicken trailer up more so the flat roof can stop collecting as much water. Gather the eggs - because chickens don't care if there is a storm outside - just like babies being born - they just come when they come - usually during or after a storm. Soaked down to our underwear - is it water, is it sweat? Go back to the barn to make sure everyone is okay - enough hay, enough water. Head inside and strip down in the doorway - heavy wet cotton right into the bathtub to drain a little before getting into the washer. And now we sit and wait - wait for this horrid storm to pass - watching the winds whip the trees and the corn around. Our livelihood on the line.
Just yesterday, the sky was blue, it was eerily calm, the air smelled different, the air felt different, the air moved around the farm differently - maybe looking for where it was all going to go when all the winds start to howl and blow. The day before the storm, friends and CSA members came and helped pick and pack all the veggies and fruit we could - we had no idea what was going to happen, tighten things down, put things in the barn, take down the intern housing - all in fast forward - praying as we did it - working into the night.
Monday morning we awoke - to sunny skies - air slightly chilly but smelled right - we walked the farm. Crossing our fingers and praying, Delia on my back and Sadie's hand in mine in her mismatched pick rubber boots - hoping as we walked up the road our farm would be okay. As we got closer to the farmstand, I saw them - I saw the hoophouses - all 4 of them standing tall - two small rips - one Adam had to make - during the storm - because nearly 15 gallons of water had already collected in some sagging plastic that would have kept on collecting - he acted like a surgeon, realizing the pressure - the water would have collapsed our little pepper house - we walked the fields - looks like the zucchini and summer squash are done, corn was tousled a bit - lettuce mix looks a little shredded - melons don't look good - we have some hail damage or wind damage on leaves of beans and tomatoes - the tomatoes are still standing and we should know in a few days if disease came in on the storm. Overall, we fared rather well - the ground took up most of the water - it was so very wet - but are soil was so very dry - not sure if it will make some hard crustiness around the farm where we just turned up soil.
Not sure, Not sure about alot of things accept that our family is healthy and okay, our little farm made it through, a little battered but no flooding - no structural damages (that we know of yet) - this mama farmer and papa farmer are exhausted from all the worrying, the stress, getting ready and getting everything undone and put back together from the storm. Who would have thought Vermont would get a hurricane (ahem tropical storm) When I see the posts of facebook or on the radio (thankful we do not own a tv since I would probably be glued to it and causing myself more stress) about the farmers in lower lying areas, the river bottom areas, I just want to be sick - this year has been such a hard year to grow anything - I just want to cry with the overwhelmingness of this business of growing food. Why does it have to be so hard? Here we are working on trying to secure our farm land - to secure our farm for the future - it has to get better there is nothing else to it - it has to get better. I am grateful that the fields are not underwater and I pray for rest of Vermont and Vermont farmers who were not as lucky as us.
In our last journal posting, I wrote about a farm being a living organism - we as the farmers help take care of the farm - the storms that rage over the farm - kind of like getting a really bad cold or flu or maybe pandemic (with this years weather) - but you have a part in this too - you are equally as important in all of this because during these storms this year - we knew you would be there for the farm - because this food that the farm produces feeds you and your family. With our CSA alone, we figure we are feeding nearly 200 people a week. Thanks for sticking with us - through sickness and in health - through storm and through sun shine, and reading through this journal post this week. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed, tired and emotional right now with all that is going on - the storm, the land purchasing, the weather and appreciate your support and love. There is a light at the end of the tunnel - and I think it might be shining right now through my window and onto this keyboard.

Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Interns Ashlynn and Adora
PS We will keep you updated on how to help farms who have flooded, folks who have been affected by Irene through our facebook, blog and this Journal. Please give of your time, resources and financially if you can. Maybe we can organize some lovin' from BHF..if anyone is interested in helping out to organize this with us, give us a call or email. 372-3420 or email
WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: HURRICAN BATTERED BASIL, GARLIC, Cucumbers, Pears, Melons, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Sungold Cherry Tomatoes , Heirloom TOMATOES, PYO Cherry tomatoes, PYO Ground Cherries, Cilantro, Hurricane battered Lettuce Mix and maybe a few other things from the mystery box(like melons, ground cherries, tomatillos)

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.

Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color "Island Oatmeal." Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. 17.00 skein. Also available wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal - $9 for 4 ounces.

Ways to help fellow Vermonters affected by Hurricane Irene (there our live links on the highlighted words online)
Thanks to Seven Days for putting this together

• Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need.
• You can donate to the United Way's Vermont Disaster Relief Fund online, or buy sending a donation to your local United Way. Just make sure your donation is marked for the "Vermont Disaster Relief Fund".
• You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross set up shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in.
• The VT Irene Flood Relief Fund is raising money to help people and communities affected by flooding. 100% of all donations will be distributed to businesses and families. The fund was set up by Todd K. Bailey and is being administed through the Vermont State Employees Credit Union.
• Vermont Baseball Tours has set up the 8/28 Fund to raise money. Donations of $20 or more get you a cool t-shirt.
• The MRV Community Fund has been reestablished to help Mad River Valley farmers who saw devastating crop losses due to the flooding.
• Independent Vermont Clothing is selling a special "I'm With VT" t-shirt. All profits from sales of the shirt will go to relief efforts.
• Across the lake, upstate New York got hit hard by Irene, too. Donations are being coordinated on the Irene Flood Drive Facebook page.

• is working to connect volunteers ready to help with those that need assistance. If you want to help clean up and rebuild, let the folks behind this site know.
• Montpelier Alive is coordinating volunteer efforts in that city through their Facebook page.
• Volunteer and cleanup efforts are also being coordinated on Twitter via the #VTresponse hashtag.
• The Vermont Flooding 2011 page on Facebook is functioning as a community bulletin board of sorts.
• Vermont Helping Hands is also coordinating relief efforts via Facebook.
• The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations. Stop by their donation center at 32 North Prospect Street in Burlington, or the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Blood Donation Center at 125 Mascoma Street in Lebanon, NH.

• If you need assistance or information from the state, dial 211 or visit
• The Help Vermont Facebook group is another place to share recovery information.
• will provide free access for people who are displaced from their homes. Call their customer service line at 1-877-367-7368 1-877-367-7368 for more information.

Monday, August 29, 2011

We are okay..

We are okay - the farm and animals - no csa pickup today - letting the plants stand back up before we pick and really assess. CSA Pickup will be TUesday from 4-6pm. Thanks for understanding. More details later - fence to move, animals to move, hoophouses to open up..

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Journal Post for the week of August 22,2011

AUGUST 22, 2011
Week 10- Happy Monday! When we got up this morning, it felt like fall. I grabbed a hoodie and went outside - it smelled like fall. Then it warmed up - September is next week. What a rollercoaster growing season..

There is nothing like crunching down on a crisp cucumber just picked in the field - not bitter - nice and full, crunchy, with the slippery seeds and water filled flesh - nothing beats that taste. I eat probably 3 or 4 whole slicers in a morning while doing chores, picking veggies, weeding - feel a bit of a tang for a little snack - CRUNCH! into one of those cucumbers and the hunger goes by and feel refreshed - even a little bit flush in the cheeks with all that greeness. I think cucumbers are the one vegetable I look forward to eating straight from the field and mourn their passing when their time is done with us. Don't get me wrong - I love tomatoes and eat my fill of cherry tomatoes, sun ripened and hot field heirloom tomatoes - but I can can that freshness - I can't do that to the cucumber - now you may say - what about those crunchy delicious bread and butter pickles or their sour dilly cousins? Nope doesn't do it for me - it is that freshness from that Marketmore Slicing cucumber that can only be had when you take that big bite and CRUNCH into it. The nice crunch from the skin, the little bit of resistance your teeth have and then swoosh into the soft flesh. You cannot can, freeze or preserve that. I love snapping one in half - and sharing it with Sadie and Delia. Sadie is now taking one every time we are in this field and she snaps one open for her and her sister. Delia loves the coolness on her swollen gums, working hard on that cucumber to help get her teeth to break through. Sadie likes using all those teeth in her mouth and the feeling of accomplishment when she finishes hers. Last Monday, I did not believe Sophie when she told me that a red sweet pepper was actually hot and I took a big fat bite - why wouldn't I believe her - she's never lied to me - but nevertheless my face was burning, tears and snot running down my face - guess who came to my rescue - my crunch friend the cucumber - snapped it in half and placed both ends to my lips and tongue to cool the heat. Needless to say I think I ate 6 or 7 cucumbers that day.

The other night on Netflix, I watched "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" - a documentary about a farmer who brought his multigenerational farm from the brink of doom to a flourishing nearly 1800 member CSA north of Chicago. This doc was quite poignant and real. The words that were coming out of his mouth are similar to what Adam and I say about farming - the farm is a living organism - when he said this - I smiled - this is how we explain what our farm is to our interns, to people come visit, to folks who come and volunteer. With farming, there is no punch clock, no 9-5, the farm is ever growing and changing and twisting and we as farmers need to dance with the farm as it does this - to go with it - we have found that whenever we try to lead the dance without listening to the farm - the farm puts us in our place. We have to grow and dance with the farm not against it. Right now the farm is a lot of work, it needs lots of attention while it produces all this food to feed all of us. If we keep picking, tending and weeding this farm will feed us all. We will be hosting a foodie documentary soon in conjunction with Food For thought - an heirloom tomato tasting and cheese and movie (yum)in the middle of September. I enjoy documentaries - especially foodie/farming ones - I am a bit of nerd with these kinds of films, conversations and books. I was joking with my sisters and Adam the other night that I would be a awesome customer (if I was not a farmer) at a farmers market:) I appreciate all this great food - I may not have paper wealth - but we are wealthy in food and love.

Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Interns Ashlynn, Adora and past Intern Sophie

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, GARLIC, Cucumbers, New Red Potatoes, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, summer squash, Heirloom TOMATOES, PYO Cherry tomatoes and maybe a few other things from the mystery box(like melons, ground cherries, tomatillos) Lettuce mix next week!

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.

Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color "Island Oatmeal." Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. 17.00 skein. ALso available wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal - $9 for 4 ounces.

My sister Sue made this dish the other night - Tortilla Espanola - OH. MY. Goodness. My sister Sue spent a semester in Salamanca, Pain and they made this dish all the time - it was their go to dishe for lunch, dinner, breakfast or whenever. I love this recipe - I highly recommend making the fried tomato sauce to go with it. Great as leftovers, it is also yummy with added local organic pork, bacon, or sausage from Cochran Family Farm from right up the road on Hyde Rd, Grand Isle (734-8334)

Spanish Omelet Recipe - Tortilla Espanola

No doubt about it, the Tortilla Espanola or Spanish Omelet is the most commonly served dish in Spain. It is also called Tortilla de Patata or Potato Omelet. Bars and cafés serve it as a tapa or appetizer, but it is often served as a light dinner in Spanish homes. Because it is easy to transport, the Spanish make bocadillos or sandwiches by placing a piece between two pieces of a baguette. There are lots of variations of tortillas or omelets and a few are listed at the bottom of this recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes Yield: 6 Servings Main Dish
6-7 medium potatoes, peeled (please don't peel the new potatoes though)
1 whole yellow onion
5-6 large eggs
2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
Salt to taste
Preparation: This tortilla espanola or tortilla de patata makes 8-10 servings as an appetizer, or 6 servings as a main course.
Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, with the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in pieces approximately 1/8" thick. If you slice them a bit thick, don’t worry – it will simply take a bit longer for them to cook. Peel and chop the onion into 1/4" pieces. Put potatoes and onions into a bowl and mix them together. Salt the mixture. In a large, heavy, non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Carefully place the potato and onion mixture into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes. You may need to turn down the heat slightly, so the potatoes do not burn.

Leave in pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it easily breaks in two, your potatoes are done. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and allow oil to drain.
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat by hand with a whisk or fork. Pour in the potato onion mixture. Mix together with a large spoon.Pour 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil into a small, non-stick frying pan (aprox. 9-10”) and heat on medium heat. Be careful not to get the pan too hot because the oil will burn - or the tortilla will! When hot, stir the potato onion mixture once more and “pour” into the pan and spread out evenly. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. Then you can carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly “browned.” The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.

When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Take the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12”) upside down over the frying pan. With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will “fall” onto the plate. Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so. Now slide the omelet into the frying pan. Use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes.Slide the omelet onto a plate to serve. If eating as a main course, cut the omelet into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve sliced French bread on the side.
If you are serving as an appetizer, slice a baguette into pieces about 1/2 inch think. Cut the tortilla into 1.5” squares and place a piece on top of each slice of bread.
It is simply delicious served with sofrito2, fried tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers and olive oil sautéed in a frying pan.

Cooking Tips
It is not necessary to slice the potatoes paper thin, and it is best not to use a food processor because most will slice the potatoes too thin, and they stick together.
How do you know when oil is hot enough to fry the potatoes and onions? Drop a single piece of potato or a bit of bread into the oil. It should sizzle. Remember to watch the heat while frying. If the oil is too hot, the potatoes will brown rapidly on the outside, but will be raw on the inside. After frying potatoes, place the potato and onion mixture in a colander for a few minutes to allow more oil to drain. If you do this, place a plate underneath to catch the olive oil and you can use it again. If you aren't sure how to flip the omelet, watch How to Flip a Spanish Tortilla3.

The following are a few of the most popular variations to the classic Tortilla Espanola.
Green Pepper - Add 1 green or red bell pepper (chopped) to the potatoes and onions and fry.
Chorizo - Slice a Spanish chorizo sausage and add to the potato and onion mixture after frying. Or, simply slice Spanish chorizo and combine with beaten eggs in the frying pan.
Ham - Using a couple thick slices (1/4") ham, finely chop them. Then add the pieces to the potato and onion mixture after frying. Canadian bacon or smoked ham that you buy in a deli work well for this variation. Be careful to adjust the salt accordingly, since ham may be salty!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Journal Post for the week of August 15, 2011

AUGUST 15, 2011
Week 9- Happy Monday! So here I am at 1:15pm on Monday and trying to figure out what to share with you all about the past week and whats coming in the week to come. We have been quite busy - it is hard to have quiet time to write - I often things of wonderful importance or significance while I am picking tomatoes or gathering eggs. But then when I sit down - these thoughts of significance and a ha moments - are lost..maybe I will just keep typing and they will come. So here are a couple of thoughts from this week...

We planted more seeds this week for fall harvest. Adam is opening up more fields by plowing and discing them so they will be ready to go int he spring. We are also going to try making pre-made beds ao they are already made, with winterkill oats on them and around them so we can plant directly into them come April. It feels slightly weird to be talking about next year already but you have to - in farming you are always looking at the present but always need to think about the future - how will this one thing I do, affect xyz later this season, next season, etc. The corn and melons are looking great - looks like we may have them labor day or so. Even though the corn and melons are late- I'm, we're, okay with that because we are still getting the food just a month later. At least we have food - so there is no complaints here. We now need some significant rain - a good drenching rain - to help with all the seeds that were planted and the plants to keep growing - when we picked potatoes today, the earth was so dry - so dry - our hay fields are dry - the grass is short and sparse in them so we need to two wait a few more weeks to get our second cut in. It looks like the storms keep going around our little island here - please rain, come stay for a little while. On rainy days we are able to catch up on things like canning, freezing, cleaning garlic, etc and maybe even squeeze a nap in alongside the little ones. It looks like the CSA will go to the middle of October this year since we had a late start due to the flooding. That just means there will be plenty to fall harvest yumminess for all of you.

As a family yesterday we went out to Shelburne orchards and picked 83lbs of peaches! In about 20 minutes - the picking was glorious and the fruit - Oh. My. Goodness. the juice runs down your chin and get that little bit of flush in upper part of your cheek. I can not wait to can them, bake and eat all of them. It was nice to go to another farm for a while and pick some yumminess. It was great to see Nick the farmer, sitting amongst his peach trees with a scale, bags, and a small cash box - smiling from ear to ear - seeing the throngs of people who came out to pick his ripe perfect peaches. It was great to pay him for our peaches with money we earned from selling our veggies the day before at market. Keeping money local - from one farmer to another. That smile that glee - I know that feeling. Its the feeling when 4:00 comes on a Monday and all of you are starting to pull in to pick up your veggies, or on a saturday morning when there is a line at our booth to get the freshest veggies of the day - or to smell and taste all the heirloom tomatoes - there is something so profoundly wonderful in it all - where all your senses are engaged - I guess that is why we are farmers - it engages all our senses, are whole body and soul. And to see a farmer in their glory, it makes you want to smile from ear to ear too.

We are currently working with the landowners of the land that we farm to go under contract to buy the land so Blue Heron Farm has a secure land base for years to come. What has triggered this is that one of the landowners wanted to sell their land. So we have started the work to secure where we live and graze our animals and buy some of Roy's land where we vegetable farm. That will be 30 acres on Quaker Road. And we will be taking this to the next level by permanently conserving this land with the help of the Vermont Land Trust and the South Hero Land Trust and through conservation we will be able to afford this land - this land that we raise our family, our food, your food on. If we are not able to conserve this land, to sell our development rights - we would not be able to afford to buy this prime farm land here in the Champlain Islands. The Vermont Land Trust will be sending out info on how folks can help out with conserving Blue Heron Farm - so it can be farmed today, tomorrow and the future - to continue to have open land that can be farmed and not developed into house lots. At pickup today, they will be here to talk to folks who are interested in helping out.

Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Interns Ashlynn, Adora and past Intern Sophie

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, Cucumbers, Buttery New Potatoes - Nicola, green beans, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, summer squash, TOMATOES, and maybe a few other things from the mystery box !


You have new potatoes in your share this week - enjoy them! With limited amounts of rainfall here in the islands this summer - and we do not have irrigation out to the potatoes - these are on the small side but oh so yummy and buttery. Nicola is the potato this week - a little waxy, buttery nutty - very yummy - you could quickly steam them and then add some fresh butter to them or put them on the grill in some tinfoil with herbs and some olive oil and butter - YUM! We hope you like them - they are our favorite.

Tzatziki Cucumbers from the Madison Area CSA Coalition

1 medium cucumber, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
8 oz. yogurt
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint

Combine all ingredients, chill and serve. Makes 2-3 servings. Great for pitas, dips, yum!

In-a-Pinch Cucumber Salad adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

1 long or two short cucumbers , 1 ripe tomato
salt and freshly milled white pepper
2 to 3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh dill or parsley or basil or cilantro, chopped

Thinly slice cucumbers. Dice tomato up. Toss the cucumbers and tomato with a few pinches salt, pepper to taste, and enough oil to coat lightly. Add a few drops vinegar and the herb of your choice. Serves 4.

Unfried French Fries adapted from In the Kitchen with Rosie by Rosie Daley
2 pounds potatoes oil cooking spray
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon cajun spice or chile powder or curry powder....
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Slice each potato into 1/4 inch ovals lengthwise then each oval into matchsticks. Coat a baking sheet with 3 sprays of the oil spray. Combine egg whites and spice in a bowl. Add the potato sticks and mix to coat. Pour the coated potatoes onto the sprayed baking sheet (I use a jelly roll pan) and spread them out into a single layer, leaving a little space in between. Place baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the fries are crispy, turning them every 6 to 8 minutes with a spatula so that they brown evenly. Serve immediately.

Patchwork Roasted Potatoes The Grains Cookbook by Bert Greene

3 T toasted wheat germ
3 T fine fresh bread crumbs
3 T fresh grated Parmesan cheese
generous pinch of grated nutmeg
4 T unsalted butter
1 pound potatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter a baking dish. Combine the wheat germ, bread crumbs, cheese and nutmeg in a shallow bowl. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan. Remove from the heat. Peel the potatoes and cut each in half lengthwise. Then cut each half lengthwise into 4 crescents (a total of 8 slices per potato). Pat the potatoes dry with paper towels, And toss them in the melted butter until well coated. Then roll the potatoes in the wheat germ mixture, and place on the prepared baking dish. Bake until crisp and tender, 45-50 minutes. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and serve. Serves 4

Tortilla de Patatas Adapted from The Mediterrasian Way by Ric Watson and Trudy Thelander
1 large potato or 3-4 smaller potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 scallions, chopped, or ½ red onion chopped
2 gypsy peppers, seeds removed and finely diced (or ½ large red bell pepper)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely chopped parlsey, or green onion tops!
½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Preheat the broiler. Steam the potato pieces until just soft enough to eat. (test with a fork. Start testing after about 4 minutes, depends on the size of the cubes) Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook onion and peppers, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potato and cook, stirring to combine, for another 2 minutes. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl with the parsley, salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the vegetables in the skillet, cover, and cook gently over low heat for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and place under the preheated broiler to cook for 1 minute or until the top is set. Cut into wedges and serve. This can easily be served at room temperature or cold.

Simple fresh salsa recipe -
red tomatoes diced fine (I use skins, seeds and all, but others like to remove at least the seeds.)
roasted jalapeños, skins removed, diced fine. (I put them under the broiler until blistering, then into a pyrex dish that has a tight fitting lid, then they steam for a few minutes, then remove the skins and they're ready to dice.)
Onion, diced very fine
garlic, also diced very fine (this is optional, just a little)
cilantro, washed and chopped up
salt to taste Mix and eat.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Big Announcement for Blue Heron Farm

Hi Everybody,

We have very important news concerning the future of our farm. The land we currently farm and live on is going for sale - and we are trying to buy it. Buying this land would ensure that it is forever farmland and never developed. This purchase would secure a home for our family and Blue Heron Farm for future generations.

Recently, some of the land where we farm went on the market. This creates an urgent need to protect and purchase the farm within the next few months.

Right now Blue Heron Farm has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to permanently protect and purchase the 30 acres of productive farmland where we currently farm in Grand Isle. We are working with the Vermont Land Trust and South Hero Land Trust to secure the land on Quaker Road through conservation.

The total cost of conserving the 30 acres is $215,000. Approximately $129,650 is expected to come from a grant from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board with federal matching money from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. This leaves approximately $80,000 to be raised within the community.

We, Adam and Christine, work endlessly each day to provide food for our family and neigbors. Fostering the relationship between our farm and the community is something we believe very strongly in. We would like to continue that relationship for the years to come. Protecting this farm will make this farmland affordable for us to own.

For more information about this conservation effort, please contact Elise Annes at (802) 262-1206 or

Monday, August 8, 2011

Journal Post for the week of August 8, 2011

AUGUST 8, 2011
Week 8- Happy Monday! We are excited to be picking green beans today with loads of help from our interns, old interns, volunteers and CSA members. Green Beans are quite yummy but it takes quite a number of them to fill a pound and to pick enough for CSA members. People at market sometimes put their noses up to five dollars a lb for beans - but really - they are time consuming to pick and there is loads of bending over - and quite honestly not sure if beans ever make us money due to the time it takes to pick, weed and fight off the deer. The deer like to eat the tops of the plants - after we have weeded. This year we are trying out Irish Spring Soap around the whole bean row (approximately 450 ft with two rows in the bed) - It could be a wise tale but we have heard from other farmers to put this soap out and it deters deer. We will see if it does it. We can't be row cover on it like we do lettuce because the wetness and heaviness would pass diseases around the bean plants. So please enjoy these beans this week. They are yummy and many hands and backs brought them to your table - and we are grateful for that.

We are taking a break from lettuce this week - we are in between crops and the heat has been tough on the head lettuce. And I have a feeling that folks could use a bit of break from lettuce :) So this week we have the beans that are new and slicing cucumbers are just starting to come in. Adam has been diligently planting fall (?!) crops this week. All the melons and corn are growing strong - we are thinking labor dayish for both of these crops. The pastures are taking a while to grow back because of the lack of rain. We have moved up the lambs to the vegetable part of the farm and they are grazing right by Roy's house. Feel free to visit them when you come by. Pick your own Sungold cherry tomatoes should start next week.

The field heirloom tomatoes are starting to ripen. We picked a few Juan Flamme, Rose de Berne, and Rosso Sicilians (3 out of the 25 varieties we have planted out there) this past weekend and made amazing salsa with our hot peppers and cilantro. Yum! I can not wait for the bread trays full of sun ripened warm colorful tomatoes - I would take the soft skin, fragile heirloom over our hoophouse tomatoes any day. The hoophouse tomatoes are good- they are even great, especially since you have waited a long winter and spring, they are firm and don't mind being caressed with their smoothness but there is something to be said about a tomato that has witnessed the rain, the hail, the sun, the mist, the stresses of summer that makes it tastes so delectable. Now that we have Annie, and the fresh cheeses I am making with her milk - wowee...bring those tomatoes on.

Speaking of heirlooms are treasured crop - there is a confirmed case of late blight in Jericho - at a home garden. It is interesting that there is one - because we have been so dry. The only thing I can think of is that they watered at night. It is very important that everyone - when you are overhead watering - water early in the morning not at night - so the plants have the opportunity to dry off quickly and not stay wet - which promotes disease. The best way to water tomatoes is not to wet their leaves at all and water them with drip line or soaker hose. If you suspect late blight or not sure what disease is on your plants - UVM plant diagnostic lab can diagnosis the problem. Send your samples of any suspected plants ASAP for a positive ID to: Ann Hazelrigg, UVM Plant Diagnostic Clinic, 201 Jeffords Building, 63 Carrigan Drive, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405. If we all take good care and be vigilant - that we can save our tomatoes and potatoes. Home gardens are what brought it to VT the last time and dsestroyed many small farms (including ours) tomato crop. Late Blight is air-borne and travels on the wind and spreads in moist wet weather. Please pass this info on to other home gardeners. What Late Blight looks like: and

Here are some other tomato diseases that are showing up on Tomatoes now but are not nearly as devastating as late blight. IDENTIFYING DIFFERENT TOMATO DISEASES (adapted from UMass Extension vegetable notes from Vt vegetable and berry assoc)
Late blight. Classic symptoms are large, at least nickel-sized olive-green to brown spots on leaves with slightly fuzzy white fungal growth on the underside when conditions have been humid. Sometimes the lesion border is slightly yellow or has a water-soaked appearance. Leaf lesions begin as tiny, irregularly shaped brown spots and quickly grow larger: spots that are consistently small are not typical. Brown to blackish lesions develop on upper stems and leaf petioles. These stem lesions are a fairly distinctive sign of late blight and should definitely raise a red flag. Firm, brown spots develop on tomato fruit.
Septoria leaf spot. This destructive disease of tomato foliage occurs wherever tomatoes are grown. It can destroy most of a plant’s foliage resulting in sunscald, failure of fruit to mature properly, and low yields. Once infections begin, they can spread rapidly from lower to upper tomato canopy. Symptoms consist of circular tan to grey lesions with a dark brown margin that appear on lower leaves first, after the first fruit set. If conditions are favorable, lesions can enlarge rapidly, forming fruiting bodies that look like black specks, and turn infected leaves yellow then brown. With a hand lens, the specks can be seen in the center of the lesions. Fruit infection is rare, but lesions occur on foliage, stems, petioles, and the calyx. The pathogen overwinters on infected tomato debris or infected solanaceous weed hosts, and can also survive on stakes and other equipment; it is spread by splashing water, insects, workers, and equipment.
Early blight. This common disease occurs on the foliage, stem, and fruit of tomato everywhere the tomatoes are grown. It first appears as small brown to black lesions on older foliage. The tissue surrounding the initial lesion may become yellow, and when lesions are numerous entire leaves may become chlorotic. As the lesions enlarge, they often develop concentric rings giving them a ‘bull’s eye’ or ‘target-spot’ appearance. As the disease progresses, plants can become defoliated, reducing both fruit quantity and quality. Fruit can become infected either in the green or ripe stage through the stem attachment. Fruit lesions can become quite large, involve the whole fruit, and have characteristic concentric rings. Infected fruit often drop and losses of 30-50% of immature fruit may occur. On potato, foliar symptoms are quite similar though complete defoliation rarely results. The concentric rings in the lesions are fairly diagnostic for this disease, and help to distinguish it from either late blight or Septoria.
Management of Septoria leaf spot and early blight. Adequate nitrogen fertility throughout the season can help delay disease development; lower leaves become more susceptible as the nitrogen demand increases with fruit load and older leaves decline in nitrogen. Protectant fungicide sprays at regular intervals (depending on weather conditions and disease pressure) will delay onset of the disease. Many of the fungicides that are labeled for the control of late blight will also provide control of early blight and Septoria leaf spot. See the New England Vegetable Management Guide for recommendations. Both pathogens survive between crops on infected plant debris, soil, and other solanaceous host weeds and can be carried on tomato seed. Early blight can be transmitted in infected potato tubers. Rotate out of tomato crops for at least two years, control susceptible weeds, and incorporate debris after harvest. Reduce the length of time that tomato foliage is wet by using trickle irrigation, wider plant spacing, and staking. Keep workers and equipment out of wet fields where possible.
Leaf Mold. This disease can occur in the field but is most common in poorly ventilated greenhouses. Symptoms look somewhat like late blight. The high temperatures in the greenhouse make late blight less likely, but growers on hyper-alert for late blight have been concerned. Infections begin on older leaves with yellow areas visible on the upper leaf surface. Corresponding to these, on the underside, are areas of olive-green to grayish-purple fuzzy growth where the fungus is making spores. Leaves turn yellow, then brown. The disease can spread rapidly as spores disperse throughout a greenhouse on air currents, water, insects, and workers. Management: Start with certified disease free seed. Improve air circulation by adequate row/plant spacing and removal of lower leaves. Avoid the formation of water droplets on leaves by watering in the morning. Reduce relative humidity by a combination of heating and venting, especially at night. Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilization. Remove diseased leaves, place in plastic bag, and destroy. At the end of the crop cycle, remove all plant residue and destroy and disinfest the entire greenhouse.

Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, Cucumbers, Arugula or Chard, Okra GREEN BEANS, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, summer squash, TOMATOES, and maybe a few other things !

Calabrian Bruschetta from Verdura by Viana La Place

4 small Asian eggplants
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces provolone or caciocavallo cheese
6 thick slices country bread
2 garlic cloves
3 red tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil

Trim the eggplants and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the eggplant slkices on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Bake the eggplant slices in a preheated 376 degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over, brush with oil, and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Using the large side of a four sided grater (or a potato peeler...), grate the cheese into long, thin strips. Grill or lightly toast the bread. Rub with the cut side of the garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil. Place a few slices of eggplant on each bruschetta, top with some sliced tomato, and sprinkle a little shredded cheese over the top. Place the bruschetta under a preheated broiler and broil until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Layered Eggplant Casserole from Recipes from America's Small Farms

2-3 TBS vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 TBS milk
¼ cup all purpose flour, more if needed
1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into ¼ inch thick slices
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
4 ounces Monterey Jack or other cheese, grated
1 TBS unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 2-quart casserole. Beat the egg and milk in a bowl and spread the flour on a plate. Heat 1 TBS of the oil in large skillet. Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg mixture, and then flour on both sides. Place the slices in the skillet in a single layer and fry until golden on both sides. Continue frying the eggplant in batches, adding oil as necessary, until done. Layer the fried eggplant, the onion, the tomato, and the cheese until they are all used up; the final layer should be the eggplant. Sprinkle any remaining flour (or use another 2 TBS of flour) over the top. Dot with the butter. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, until bubbling and the eggplant is tender. Note: instead of frying the eggplant slices, you can drizzle them with oil and bake them on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Eggplant Pulp Facts from Recipes from America's Small Farms No one ever said eggplant pulp was pretty, but it's a beautiful base for spreads and salads. To make it, just puncture a large eggplant in a few places and wrap it loosely in aluminum foil. Place it in a 400 degree oven until it's soft and mushy – it's usually ready in about an hour, but longer baking won't hurt it. Let it cool completely, then scrape all the flesh off the skin. You'll get about 1 ½ cups of pulp from a medium eggplant. Add whatever other vegetables and herbs you like – the eggplant's mild taste and pleasant texture blends and binds other ingredients.

Eggplant Rounds with Cheese and Tomato Sauce adapted from D. Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
6-8 eggplant rounds per person, grilled, broiled or fried (from the skinny asian eggplants, reduce number of slices if using the large purple ones.)

3/4 cup grated or sliced mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola or goat cheese
about 4 cups favorite tomato sauce
chopped 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